CBCP says RH is not only a Catholic issue, launches web portal on life, family

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MANILA, May 25, 2011—The drive against a proposed measure on contraceptives is not just a Catholic issue, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said.

Monsignor Juanito Figura, CBCP Secretary General said it is a fight of many Filipinos who treasure authentic values regarding human life.

According to him, there are many people at the sidelines of the campaign against the bill. It just so happened, he said, that Church statements are the ones being given so much attention.

“The CBCP is only one of those who stand against the bill and we will continue proclaiming as much as we can the Gospel of Life,” Figura said.

Supporters of the bill have been criticizing the CBCP for intervening on state affairs and for meandering on matters of religion.

RH bill principal author Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, for instance, said that the measure “is not about religion” but “about rights.”

But Figura said the CBCP is speaking on “religious point of view” as a basic right stated in the preamble of the Constitution, which is making a reference to God.

“It may be the God of us Christians, maybe the Allah of our Muslim brothers and sisters, the Buddha of the Buddhist, or

anybody transcendental to other religions,” he pointed out.

“But the Almighty had to be there and his teaching had to be listened to and followed. This is the first basis in the Church’s involvement (in the fight against RH bill),” Figura said.


Figura made the statement during the launching of a web portal of digital materials on life and family on May 25 at the CBCP Conference Room in Intramuros, Manila.

Through the website, www.cbcpforlife.com, the Church hopes to help inform Filipinos on current issues on family and life such as the RH bill.

“This presentation that we have is simple but very powerful indication that the CBCP is not alone in the anti-RH bill campaign,” Figura said.

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, CBCP Media Office director, said the contents of the website will be provided by various organizations, Catholics and even non-Catholics.

“This is a collaborative work of many institutions and individuals who believe in the worthy cause of building an ‘online databank’ of multimedia resources,” he said.

While archiving, documenting and databanking are the prominent features of the portal, he said, it also has a pool of journalists, bloggers, podcasters and social networkers who are committed to come up with news stories and features on life and the family on a daily basis.

It just shows, Figura said, that the project is “very powerful” manifestation that the Church “is not alone” in protesting the passage of the measure.

“This indicates the solidarity of men and women of goodwill based on religious convictions,” Figura said.

“This solidarity needs no color, no endorsements of particular individuals or groups (because) everybody is welcome here,” he added.

Extension of the pulpit

Quitorio said they decided to make use of the Internet not only because of its wider reach but also because this is where most of the “war against life” is taking place.

“I might be wrong, but about 85 percent of that happens on the internet not really on radio, television or print. You’ll see a lot of that in social networking sites,” he said.

Figura, for his part, explained that the portal is just another avenue for them to preach and spread the word of God.

“This is just one of the avenues through which we can continue to preach…even during the time of Pope Paul VI, he started to call the media as the extension of the pulpit,” he said.

“This is just one of the ways, resources in which the Church continue to spread the word of God. But we’ll continue to make use of the pulpit, meetings and Bible studies…” added Figura.

Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, meantime, urged lawmakers particularly the supporters of the RH bill to visit the website for them to be enlightened on the issue.

“They should visit this portal so they may also see the other side,” he said.

Zambales Rep. Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay also recommended the portal to her fellow lawmakers.

“At least through this website they can discern for themselves. God gave us the power of discernment that’s why it’s important that we enlighten our citizens,” she said. (CBCPNews)







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  • Catholic Pedophile

    fuck cbcp! mga hangal!

    • arvie bartolome

      No Fuck You SALIGIAN!

  • Luzviminda Magdalas

    We believe that Filipinos, particularly the poor, urgently need access to information and services that will address their reproductive health needs. Support RH Bill!

  • Luzviminda Magdalas

    RH BILL (Nang matauhan ang CBCP)nnnOBJECTIVE/S:nTo uphold and promote respect for life, informed choice, birth spacing and responsible parenthood in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.To guarantee universal access to medically-safe, legal and quality reproductive health care services and relevant information even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children.nKEY PROVISIONS:nMandates the Population Commission, to be an attached agency of the Department of Health, to be the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for effective implementation of this Act.Provides for the creation of an enabling environment for women and couples to make an informed choice regarding the family planning method that is best suited to their needs and personal convictions.Provides for a maternal death review in LGUs, national and local government hospitals and other public health units to decrease the incidence of maternal deaths.Ensures the availability of hospital-based family planning methods such as tubal ligation, vasectomy and intrauterine device insertion in all national and local government hospitals, except in specialty hospitals.Considers hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies under the category of essential medicines and supplies to form part of the National Drug Formulary and to be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units.Provides for a Mobile Health Care Service in every Congressional District to deliver health care goods and services.Provides Mandatory Age-appropriate Reproductive Health Education starting from Grade 5 to Fourth Year High School to develop the youth into responsible adults.Mandates the inclusion of the topics on breastfeeding and infant nutrition as essential part of the information given by the City or Municipal Office of the Family Planning to all applicants for marriage license.Mandates no less than 10% increase in the honoraria of community-based volunteer workers, such as the barangay health workers, upon successful completion of training on the delivery of reproductive health care services.Penalizes the violator of this Act from one month to six months imprisonment or a fine ranging from ten thousand to fifty thousand pesos or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.nu2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014u2014-nRepublic of the PhilippinesnHOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESnQuezon City, Metro ManilanFOURTEENTH CONGRESSnFIRST REGULAR SESSIONnHOUSE BILL NO. 17nIntroduced by HONORABLE EDCEL C. LAGMANnEXPLANATORY NOTEnThe present population of the country of 88.7 million has galloped from 60.7 million 17 years ago. This makes the Philippines the 12th most populous nation in the world today.The Filipino womenu2019s fertility rate of 3.05% is at the upper bracket of 206 countries. With four babies born every minute, the population is expected to balloon to an alarming 160 million in 2038.nIt is worth noting, however, that available studies, data and statistics show that the Filipinos are responsive to having smaller-sized families through free choice of family planning methods:na. The desired fertility rate of Filipino women is 2.5 children per woman. However, the actual total fertility rate is 3.5 or a difference of one child because of the lack of information and absence of access to family planning. The current unmet need for contraceptives for example is 23.15% for poor women and 13.6% for women who are not poor (2003 National Demographic and Health Survey)b. 61% of currently married women do not want additional children (2003 National Demographic and Health Survey)c. 50.6% of the youth want to have only two children (2002 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey)d. 97% of all Filipinos believe it is important to have the ability to control oneu2019s fertility or to plan oneu2019s family. It is significant to note that 87% of the total respondents are Roman Catholic (February 2004 Pulse Asia Survey)e. Nearly nine in ten Filipinos or 86% say that candidates for elective positions who advocate a program for womenu2019s health should be supported while only 2% say they should be rejected and 12% are undecided on the matter;f. 82% say that candidates in favor of couplesu2019 free choice of family planning methods should be supported while only 3% think otherwise and 15% are undecided;g. 82% of Filipinos consider candidates supporting a law or measure on population issues worthy of their voltes while only 3% say such candidates should not be backed at the polls and 15% are undecided;h. 83% of Filipinos say they are in favor of candidates who support the allocation of goverment funds for family planning while only 2% say they are not and 15% are undecided; andi. A mere 8% of Filipinos believe that a candidateu2019s championing of family planning issues will spell that candidateu2019s defeat at the polls.j. In July 1991, the Social Weather Stations conducted a survey that revealed that 97% of Filipinos want to have the ability to control their fertility and plan their families.nNotwithstanding these findings that favor smaller-sized families, this bill is not a population control measure with the sole objective of limiting population growth. It provides for population development that aims to:n(a) help couples/parents achieve their desired fertility size in the context of responsible parenthood;(b) improve reproductive health of individuals and contribute to decreased maternal mortality rate, infant mortality and early child mortality;(c) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy and other reproductive health problems; and(d) contribute to policies that will assist government to achieve a favorable balance between population and distribution, economic activities and the environment.nThis measure is not coercive. It gives couples the freedom to decide whether or not to plan their families or space or limit their children. Those who decide to plan their families also have the freedom to choose what method of contraception is best suited for them. The so called u201ctwo child policyu201d is voluntary, not compulsory; suggestive, not coercive; and absolutely not punitive. It is not even a policy. It is a suggested ideal or norm.nAccordingly, this bill seeks to provide the enabling environment for couples and individuals to enjoy the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education, and access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice.nThis proposed law aims to uphold and promote the four pillars of population and development enunciated by no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself in her statement of support for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) namely: (1) responsible parenthood, (2) informed choice, (3) birth spacing, and (4) respect for life.nIt should be clarified, however, that this bill does not only protect the life of the unborn from the moment of implantation but that of the mother as well. Hence, the bill seeks to promote the reproductive health of women basically through massive and sustained information campaign on reproductive health rights, care, services and facilities coupled with universal access to all methods of family planning ranging from the natural to the modern which are medically safe and legally permissible. In the event they fail to prevent pregnancy and resort to abortion, they shall be provided with appropriate health and medical care. Despite the provision for humane and compassionate management of post abortion complications, this bill continues to proscribe and penalize abortion which is a crime under the Revised Penal Code.nTo contribute to the empowerment and responsible behavior of the youth, this proposed legislation provides for age-appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education that may be initiated by parents at house, and shall be sustained and complemented by formal education in school.nAn effective reproductive health education does not only instill consciousness of freedom of choice but responsible exercise of oneu2019s rights. According to the United Nations Population Fund: u201cIt has been, repeatedly shown that reproductive health education leads to responsible behavior, higher levels of abstinence, later initiation of sexuality, higher use of contraception, and fewer sexual partners, These good effeds are even greater when parents can talk honestly with their children about sexual and reproductive matters.u201dnTo guarantee the right of all persons to a full range of information on family planning methods, services and facilities and to ensure their access to an equally full range of medically safe and effective family planning methods at an appropriate time and by competent and adequately trained persons,the bill mandates the Commission on Population (POPCOM) to be the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development. Section 5 of the bill specifies the functions of POPCOM as the lead agency in the implementation of the u201cReproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2007u2033.nThis proposed Act doses not only seek to protect and promote reproductive health and rights and to empower couples, individuals, more particularly women, and the youth, but it also aims to improve the quality of life of the people in general. Studies show that rapid population growth exacerbates poverty while poverty spawns rapid population growth. Consider the following:nThe Family Income and Exfenditures Surveys by the National Statistics Office (NSO) from 1985-2000 disclose that 57.3% of families having many children are poor but only 15.7% of families having two children are poor.Large family size is associated with negative determinant of school participation and poor health and survival rates among children. (Orbeta, Population and the Fight Against Poverty, 2003)The prevalence of child labor rises, and school attendance falls, with the number of children in the family (Raymundo, 2004). Moreover,the odds of a child becoming underweight and stunted are greater if he/she belongs to a household with 5 or more members (FNRI 1998). This partly explains why poverty tends to be transmitted and sustained from one generation to the next.According to the UN Population Fund 2002 Report, u201clower birth rates and slower population growth over the last three decades have contributed faster economic progress in a number of developing countries.u201dMoreover,the same Report disclosed that fertility declines accounted for 1/5th of the economic growth in East Asia between 1960 and 1995. Additionally, it showed that countries that invest in health, including reproductive health and family planning, and in education and womenu2019s development register slower population growth and faster economic growth.nA consistent and coherent national population policy along with sound monetary and fiscal policies and good governance could propel our people toward sustainable human development.nAccordingly, approval of this measure is earnestly sought.

    • arvie bartolome

      wrong data ma meinn nnnYou think sasangayon ang mahirap sainyo. No. saamin…

  • VeritasLiberabitVos

    mga unggoy yung mga naunang magcomment. magsitigil nga kayo. para kayong mga tanga jan kung magpost. gumawa kayo ng sarili niyong website kung gusto niyong magcomment. di yung nakikisali kayo dito.

  • arvie bartolome

    ISIAH 30

  • arvie bartolome

    And I warn the infernal evil that is the center of the RH bill agenda. They are a bunch of depraved and sordid people. That I must insist that the inquisition and the pope call in to some extended release of resource and man power. These groups have extortionists of military in nature. It is true. nnnMaccabees 9:25 u2020

    • arvie bartolome

      God be with you breathren and I to hell and to the test

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