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    » 11/07/2007, 00.00

    PHILIPPINES

    Manila to spend two billion pesos on birth control, Church says no

    Santosh Digal

    House of representatives decides funding in 2008 budget because high birth rate adversely impacts public welfare. Bishops oppose initiative, calling instead for greater commitment against unemployment and poverty, promoting natural methods of birth controls.

    Manila (AsiaNews) – Despite Filipino bishops’ strong opposition, the House of Representatives has decided to spend PHP 2 billion (US million) on population management. Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, chairman of the House appropriations committee, said yesterday “it’s time the government tackled the burgeoning population problem.”

    Last month, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines strongly opposed the government’s move to allocate this sum of money for birth control, demanded instead the amount should be spent on the eradication of poverty and unemployment.

    For Lagman funding “will help contain the [. . .] annual population growth rate of 2.36 percent [. . .], which impacts adversely on the principal indicators of human development like health care, quality education, food security, employment, mass housing and the environment.”

    He noted that funds would be used on nationwide educational campaign and seminars on birth control, and for the procurement of “modern natural and artificial reproductive health products.”

    The Church has tried several times to stop government initiatives in favour of artificial birth control methods.

    Catholics, especially in southern Philippines, have instead been involved in the promotion of natural family planning methods, the well-known Billings method, which has been effective.

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    See also

    08/08/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Filipino bishops call for education and development, not contraceptives
    Two congressional committees back the Reproductive Health bill, triggering the bishops’ reaction against the ‘pro-abortion” bill. The prelates want the government to come up with policies that focus on “education, agricultural development and help to the poor.”

    20/08/2004 PHILIPPINES
    Church: "Two-child policy is anti-family"


    15/09/2004 PHILIPPINES
    No to contraceptives for birth control, says Archbishop Cruz


    07/10/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Filipino bishops urge president to block ‘pro-abortion’ bill
    Bishops’ Conference calls on her to veto Reproductive Health bill if it is approved by Congress. Bill proponents and opponents in legislature claim to be near quorum to get a vote. Church reiterates its view that “abortion is murder.”

    06/11/2008 PHILIPPINES
    Hunger growing as 40 per cent of Filipinos lack of food
    Gallup survey ranks Philippine 5th on hunger list. Data indicates hunger and malnutrition are getting worse. Catholic bishops urge government to institute assistance policy, reiterating their view that corruption, not overpopulation is the cause of poverty.



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