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    » 08/08/2007, 00.00


    Manila promotes natural family planning

    Santosh Digal

    The government wants to set up small groups tasked with promoting natural family planning methods. More than four million couples are expected to take part in the initiative, including those living in some of the remotest corners of the country. The Catholic Church looks favourably to the initiative.

    Manila (AsiaNews) – The government of the Philippines has decided to follow the Catholic Church and promote natural family planning (NFP) methods in the remotest, an initiative the Catholic Church has welcomed. The plan involves the whole country, including some its most far-flung areas.

    The plan itself is part of the Family Planning Month initiative launched by the Commission on Population. Its specific objectives are promoting responsible parenting in couples and encouraging men to be responsible partners in maternal health.

    Altogether the Commission wants to educate at least 4.2 million couples nationwide between 2007 and 2010. It will organise ten classes per village, involving ten couples per class in some 42,000 villages nationwide.

    Responsible parenting classes are expected to mobilise a critical mass of parents as part of what will become a responsible parenting movement. Activities will include after-class coaching and mentoring through home visits.

    Rural barangay (village) health workers and other community-based volunteers will recruit married couples to join responsible parenting classes.

    In cities mayors will establish urban barangay (district or ward) groups that will include health officials who will train responsible parenting activists.

    This way the policy can be a full-blown responsible parenthood movement.

    Leo Rama, regional director of the Commission on Population, said that whilst people are familiar with the use of artificial methods like condoms, vasectomy and tubal ligation, they are not much aware of natural family planning methods.

    “The core of the plan is the grassroots campaign to bring the programme as close to the people as possible,” he said.

    In the programme, villages, towns and cities alike will have their own responsible parenting movement group.

    For years the Filipino government has tried to reduce population growth. On several occasions this has led to conflict with the Catholic Church over the right methods to achieve the goal.

    This time however state and Church are on the same side. Mgr Pedro C. Quitorio III, spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said that the “Church welcomed” the government’s effort.

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    See also

    22/02/2011 PHILIPPINES
    Filipino bishops suspend dialogue with government over pro-abortion law
    The decision is taken after Congress decides to speed up bill approval without changes agreed with Catholics. The bill is now before the House. Bishops say they will resume talks at the end of March.

    27/12/2006 PHILIPPINES
    Mindanao: Church-State agreement on family planning
    The Catholic Women’s League and local Department of Health have reached an agreement about natural family planning methods to be applied in the region. The Archbishop of Cagayan has expressed his satisfaction.

    20/05/2011 PHILIPPINES
    Cagayan de Oro:church and government promote natural family planning methods
    In the Philippines the divergence continues between bishops and parliamentarians, in favour of the law on reproductive health. In Mindanao, an active training program that respects human life and promotes responsible parenthood to over 22 thousand couples. Instances of abortion grows across the country, an estimated half a million in 2010.

    12/10/2005 PHILIPPINES
    Cardinal Vidal praises the government for natural family planning

    President Arroyo has announced the use of UN funds for the adoption of a natural family planning policy. Cardinal Vidal: "These measures protect society and the family".

    29/04/2005 PHILIPPINES
    Family Planning Bill in Philippines Paving Way for Legalized Abortion

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