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What is your stand concerning the Reproductive Health Bill?

October 30, 2009

Pat Cuilan, Benguet: The RH bill is among the worthy measures that can regulate a population that’s growing faster than the economy.

Ruel Bautista, Laguna: The RH Bill is against the Catholic Church’s doctrine. I’ll never be in favor of it.

It’s long overdue

Nony de Leon, Bulacan: Denying the need for a population management program, as provided for in the RH Bill, is like denying that the earth is round.
Jim Veneracion, Naga City: Our runaway population is alarming, without the government acting on it as GMA has been toeing the line of the Catholic Church. The RH Bill is tantamount to our survival.

Robert Young Jr., San Juan: The RH Bill should have been made into law decades ago, but our politicians have no balls. Our population is nearing 100 million; the unemployed and underemployed make up over 15 per cent. If not for our 10 million OFWs, the number could be bigger and our economy would collapse. Poor couples don’t want to have many children, but lack of information and support from the government has results in them having five to eight children. When Atienza was Manila mayor, he banned the distribution of contraceptives in government clinics and hospitals. It led to poor couples producing like rabbits. One couple had nine children  one for each year Atienza was mayor. I think what we need now is to encourage couples with two or more kids to either have a vasectomy or ligation.

Fortunato Aguirre, Bulacan: The 90 million Pinoys crammed into our small land is abnormal. Let’s arrest the explosion. Parents must limit their brood before even more poor Pinoys can’t afford three square meals a day.

Edwin Castillo, Tanauan City: The RH Bill would have been passed a long time ago had it not been opposed by the Roman Catholic Church.

Eufrocino Linsangan, Isabela: It’s too late. We won’t be having so many problems because of overpopulation if the RH Bill had been passed and implemented 40 years ago.

Leandro Tolentino, Batangas: It should be a boon to population control management through responsible family planning methods, which our country has been in dire need of for decades.

Dante Aquino, Isabela: The bill is long overdue and should have been passed by Congress a long time ago. Congressmen should not succumb to Church pressure and give priority to the nation’s well-being!

Leonard Villa, Batac City: It’s a powerful idea that is liked by most people I talked to, most of whom were Roman Catholics. Bishops and priests should not meddle in state affairs.

It’s hard to take a stand

David Lazo Velasco, Marinduque: It’s hard to take a stand concerning the RH bill because even the respected and best of minds, including theologists, don’t agree with each another on this.

Lydia Reyes, Bataan: Your question for the day is not among my list of priorities. My concern is more on the economic condition of my country.

We have to bite the bullet now

Josh Pacatang, Dipolog City: Yes, of course, the RH Bill should now be part of the laws of the land. Ninety-two million people living in 7,107 or so small islands by the year 2035 will make the country too overcrowded.

Ric Vergara, Calamba City: My religion opposes the bill, but my conscience says we have to bite the bullet now!

Ed Mislang, Metro Manila: The RH Bill should be enacted as soon as possible. Just look at the flood victims in evacuation areas with the many children in tow at such young ages! One mother claimed she had five children with her, all below 10 years old. The RH Bill does not encourage abortion, as so many opposers claim. How can there be abortion when no fetus has been conceived? Remember, the key word here is “contra”, as in contra-conception. It is high time this country limited its population in order to move on economically and achieve developed status.

Elizabeth Oximer, Negros Occidental: Implement the bill now. The Lord will understand. As with disasters, this will prevent population explosion.

Col. Ben Paguirigan Jr., Ret., Zamboanga City: Our country is so densely populated that our economy and other contributing factors cannot cope with our sexually active citizenry. Damn the oppositionists.

The Church must recognize the urgency of the situation

C.B. Manalastas, Manila: For the sake of our suffering countrymen caused mainly by a never-ending daily increase in the population, I hope for its immediate approval.

JC Punongbayan, Quezon City: The proposed RH bill does not impose a two-child policy, poses risks to maternal and child health, and will definitely not lead to legalized abortion. Abortion arises as a last resort precisely because mothers can’t avoid conception from happening in the first place, because of restricted access and information to more effective contraceptive measures. Although not a panacea for all our problems, the bill is but a recognition of the empirically-proven link between high total fertility rates and low per capita incomes. It’s high time that the Church appreciate the urgency of such measure, for the future and welfare of the greater population is at stake.

The Church will never change its stand

John Francis Aberion, Cavite: I strongly support and adhere to the Roman Catholic Church’s stand against the RH Bill. The Catholic Church primarily promotes human dignity. Contrary to what others think, the Church even adheres to progress made by the sciences, insofar as these sciences do not trigger human exploitation influenced by politics and media. The Church willingly promotes proper family planning according to what the couple can rightfully sustain. That is why prior to the RH Bill, there must be proper discipline and education. There is no need for more redundant laws and contradictory articles, which, in the end, promote exploitation. Such redundancies only cause more injury to human dignity. The country can still progress and at the same time manage its population if all participate against the violation of human rights. And please, let the Church advise on moral issues; let’s not rely on the sole presumptions of the politicians and the media. The Church’s stand will not change because it involves the nature of man as an image of the dignified creature created in the image and likeness of God. So don’t think that contraceptives will ever be approved by the Church.

Romeo Caubat, Masbate: I’m for the RH Bill. It’s only the Catholic priests, fearing loss of income, who are very vocal against it.

The bill must be in accordance with God’s will

Ella Arenas, Pangasinan: This is a very sensitive and debatable question because it involves the Catholic Church. I’m a Catholic so whatever my stand is, it is due to the doctrines and teachings I have received as a true believer. As faith dictates, I have to say that I am against contraceptives. It endangers the lives of child-bearing women as well as those who engage in pre-marital sex.

Germi Sison, Cabanatuan City: Family planning was already an economic issue even during the time of Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul taught everything about family planning in 1 Corinthians Chapter 7. All means of family planning he taught were difficult, as following the commandments of God is really difficult unless one is circumcised of the heart. Genesis 38: 8-10 explained that the sperm cell, thought not yet a fetus, is a living cell that will become a fetus once mated with the egg cell. Throwing away sperm cells is abominable to God as it is tantamount to murder. The RH Bill is a concern of Christian teachings; it must be always in accordance with the will of God, not of temporal-minded man.

It’s against Catholic doctrine

Dennis Acop, Benguet: My stand concerning the RH Bill is the same as that of the Catholic Church. That is: Family planning, including the protection of the reproductive health of fathers, mothers, and offspring, is alright so long as it is pursued without violating the natural law. A lot of people actually think that the Catholic Church is against family planning. The truth is that the Catholic faith is not at all against family planning, but the Church does advocate natural family planning. The practice of natural family planning is more difficult and this is the reason why secular policy makes possible artificial family planning options to people. Actually, the Church’s position is not only difficult to implement physically but is even much more difficult to comprehend in its profound sense of emphasizing the moral sanctity of sex and reproduction within the marriage. Most people, even those among the supposed faithful, simply cannot get themselves to abide by these moral precepts.

The RH Bill will promote “free sex”

Desuel Pardo, Mandaluyong City: There should not be any controversy to RH Bill as the Bible also teaches family planning to avoid economic difficulties in life. But to use man-made gadgets or operate on reproductive organs to avoid pregnancy are not natural means of birth control. A woman’s monthly period is natural so the means of controlling pregnancy must also be natural. Taking away the element of procreation in mating will leave only the expression of love and lustful satisfaction; thus, excluding the presence of God in the family.

Dante de los Reyes, Bacolod City: I’m not in favor of the passage of the RH Bill for the simple reason that, if passed, it will promote “free sex”, not safe sex, as the bill purports to adhere to. It will result in the proliferation of contraceptive products which our teenage children can easily buy anywhere, even in public markets. It’s not the population problem, but corruption and poverty that are besetting our country today. This bill will only profit multi-national corporations selling contraceptives.

Who’s behind the RH Bill?

Gerii Calupitan, Muntinlupa City: In 1995, my ex-wife Jo sent me an article exposing the World Health Organization’s sinister plan to eradicate the birth of humans through a cleverly concealed birth control program. I was skeptical then, but in 2007, my friend Cathy sent me e-mails exposing the WHO’s evil plot to increase autism in humans by mercury-spiked medicines. By then, I took notice and researched. Is it mere coincidence that autism has increased in the last 20 years? Fifty years ago, I hardly saw autistic children. I view the RH bill with apprehension. Who’s behind it?

It will control our fast-growing population

Benjamin Nillo, Las Piñas City: Our country’s burgeoning population warrants the RH Bill to be enacted with dispatch. It would certainly address overcrowding.

Ferdinand Rafer, Cavite: Our birth rate outpaces our economic growth. If that trend would continue, we will stagnate. We need that bill to somehow manage our population.

Ricardo Tolentino, Laoag City: It’s the ultimate solution to starvation. If the government cannot raise food production, it should encourage limiting population reproduction.

Rey Onate, PalayanCity: I am for its serious implementation. I believe it is a good measure to control our fast-growing population.

It needs revision

Lucas Banzon Madamba II, Laguna: The RH Bill is concerned about managing the population explosion. However, I do not intend to support it because of some provisions which may be detrimental to the progress of the country as well as to humanity.

Ei delos Reyes, Quezon City: With some revisions, I could support it.

Rey Ibalan, Antipolo City: I am anti-abortion. The RH Bill must be given serious studying, considering the rapid population growth that we have now.

Nature will reduce the population

C.K. Yeo, Iloilo City: The RH Bill will never be passed into law. Ninety per cent of officials are Catholic; 100 per cent of them are afraid to earn the ire of the Church. The natural method is not effective either. When there are too many of us, nature will reduce the population without any need for planning through war, pestilence, and calamities. The process has begun. Have you not noticed?

This bill only aims to promote awareness

Eddie Yap, Kabankalan City: The RH Bill must be extensively promoted among couples, especially from the grassroots, who lack enough knowledge on the importance of this bill. Having children which you cannot afford to raise is a big sin; thus, looking for ways to prevent it is advisable and must be practiced.

Johann Lucas, Quezon City: The RH Bill only aims to promote an awareness of health issues and to empower citizens to make the right choices for their families. It is not about promoting artificial contraception because natural contraception is also provided in the bill.

Rose Leobrera, Manila: I am for it to become a law. It is beneficial because through this, the problem of our ballooning population might be solved. The bill will help educate parents on proper parenting, tamang agwat at bilang, and what their pockets can afford. With proper planning, care and attention will be given to the children. Otherwise, kawawa ang mga bata.

It will promote responsible parenthood

Erwin Espinoza, Pangasinan: The RH Bill is pro-progress. Let’s consider population control this time so as to have fewer mouths to feed.

June Deoferio, Cavite: I’m in favor of the RH Bill because it benefits the poor people in terms of their buying capacity and medical needs.

Felix Ramento, Manila: At 96 million and still growing, the size of our population doesn’t seem to scare our so-called leaders as they continue to hopelessly acquiesce to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church with respect to its position against the RH Bill now pending in Congress. With much of our meager resources either being wasted or pocketed by inept and callous government officials, how soon can we ever expect to improve the lot of our neglected impoverished people?

Delfin Todcor, Quezon City: Yes, if the intention of the RH Bill is to help guide Filipino men and women of reproductive age to become responsible parents and help them maintain the population.

Ernesto Oliquiano, Las Piñas City: It is one law that will benefit the entire nation if enacted. We all know that poverty is largely caused by overpopulation. Most, if not all, underdeveloped countries have populations more than they can sustain. This is the reason why poverty in these countries exists. I also urge the church to please stop opposing this bill. They should be realistic that when God commanded Adam and Eve to ‘go ye and multiply’, there were only two human beings on earth then. Now, we have billions of Adams and Eve and surely, even God will be hesitant this time to tell these billions to go and multiply further.

It must be enforced on illegal settlers

Joe Nacilla, Las Piñas City: The RH Bill has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s not talk about the Catholic Church’s views. Many Asian countries have made sharp reductions in poverty because they have been benefiting from a demographic bonus resulting from an increasing share of workers relative to young dependents. The problem with our country is that most young dependents are children of illegal settlers who cannot send their children to school. In the end, they will continue begging and will not be able to replace the old workers. The RH bill is good and must be forcibly enforced to all illegal settlers in order to stop the production of this class of people.

Contraceptives don’t kill

Elsa Mendoza, Quezon City: The country’s Catholic Church opposes the RH Bill, denouncing it as pro-abortion, anti-life, anti-women, anti-poor, and immoral. I am a Catholic, but I also believe that the RH Bill is pro-life and pro-women. The bill is meant to prevent abortions by offering couples their choice of safe, legal and affordable family planning methods (natural and artificial). It therefore seeks to avert unwanted pregnancies, which cause poor miserable women despairing yet over another pregnancy to resort to dangerous induced abortions. It’s a pity that so many women should make abortion a family planning method for want of an effective means to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. The country needs a national policy on reproductive health and population development as provided by this Bill. This could curb population growth, which is crucial to overall economic growth and poverty reduction.

Cris Rivera, Rizal: It is not to deprive life to thrive. Family planning is all about giving the best in life. Contraceptives don’t kill, but abortion will.

This needs political will

Louella Brown, Baguio City: The Philippine Congress should take a bold stand concerning the RH Bill once and for all. Our population problem is alarming.

Pedro Alagano Sr., Vigan: I’m in favor of the RH Bill, but it is headed to the archives due to the opposition of the Catholic Church. It needs political will to achieve it.

Rodolfo Talledo, Angeles City: The bill is a litmus test for all those running for public office. Let’s see who has the guts to push for this all-important piece of legislation.

Rowena Remiendo, Makati City: For me, the RH Bill will be very beneficial to all. Statistics and surveys show that a large majority agrees to this.

Views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The STAR. The STAR does not knowingly publish false information and may not be held liable for the views of readers exercising their right to free expression. The publication also reserves the right to edit contributions to this section as it sees fit.–(philstar.com)

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