Budget cut on contraceptives ‘a welcome move’

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles

MANILA, Jan. 8, 2015— Church officials have welcomed the legislature’s decision to cut the government’s P1 billion budget for contraceptives.

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa archdiocese told reporters he thought it was “very Filipino”.

“I hope all P1 billion will be spent to construct schools, give high education and moral formation for the young, and job opportunities for adults,” said Arguelles who heads the CBCP Permanent Committee on Public Affairs.

Heath Secretary Janette Garin earlier said the agency’s 2016 budget for the procurement of contraceptives had been scrapped when it passed through Congress.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto, however, said less than P200 million only was removed from the budget for contraceptives, including injectables that are considered abortifacients.

Senator Loren Legarda, who chairs the Senate committee on finance, also defended the budget cut, saying it was meant to increase the budget of other agencies.

She said part of it was also used for the increase in the state universities and colleges’ budget.

Legarda added that a part of the P1 billion was even realigned within the health department to provide for the health facilities and medical assistance to indigent patients.

Fr. Jerome Secillano of the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish Church in Manila’s Sampaloc district, said it is “perplexing that a law that prevents life from developing” should be funded.

“It is, therefore, good to know that no budget is allocated for the procurement of contraceptives,” he said. “It’s a welcome news”.

“There’s still much to be done. The government should be more proactive in funding programs that will help people rise up from their miserable conditions,” Secillano said. (CBCPNews)

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