Home > reproductive health, RH Bill 5043 > Fr. Joaquin Bernas on #rhbill : serves the welfare of the nation and especially of poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service

Fr. Joaquin Bernas on #rhbill : serves the welfare of the nation and especially of poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service

My stand on the RH Bill

By: 

I HAVE been following the debates on the RH Bill not just in the recent House sessions but practically since its start. In the process, because of what I have said and written (where I have not joined the attack dogs against the RH Bill), I have been called a Judas by a high-ranking cleric, I am considered a heretic in a wealthy barangay where some members have urged that I should leave the Church (which is insane), and one of those who regularly hears my Mass in the Ateneo Chapel in Rockwell came to me disturbed by my position. I feel therefore that I owe some explanation to those who listen to me or read my writings.

First, let me start by saying that I adhere to the teaching of the Church on artificial contraception even if I am aware that the teaching on the subject is not considered infallible doctrine by those who know more theology than I do. Moreover, I am still considered a Catholic and Jesuit in good standing by my superiors, critics notwithstanding!

Second (very important for me as a student of the Constitution and of church-state relations), I am very much aware of the fact that we live in a pluralist society where various religious groups have differing beliefs about the morality of artificial contraception. But freedom of religion means more than just the freedom to believe. It also means the freedom to act or not to act according to what one believes. Hence, the state should not prevent people from practicing responsible parenthood according to their religious belief nor may churchmen compel President Aquino, by whatever means, to prevent people from acting according to their religious belief. As the “Compendium on the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church” says, “Because of its historical and cultural ties to a nation, a religious community might be given special recognition on the part of the State. Such recognition must in no way create discrimination within the civil or social order for other religious groups” and “Those responsible for government are required to interpret the common good of their country not only according to the guidelines of the majority but also according to the effective good of all the members of the community, including the minority.”

Third, I am dismayed by preachers telling parishioners that support for the RH Bill ipso facto is a serious sin or merits excommunication! I find this to be irresponsible.

Fourth, I have never held that the RH Bill is perfect. But if we have to have an RH law, I intend to contribute to its improvement as much as I can. Because of this, I and a number of my colleagues have offered ways of improving it and specifying areas that can be the subject of intelligent discussion. (Yes, there are intelligent people in our country.) For that purpose we jointly prepared and I published in my column what we called “talking points” on the bill.

Fifth, specifically I advocate removal of the provision on mandatory sexual education in public schools without the consent of parents. (I assume that those who send their children to Catholic schools accept the program of Catholic schools on the subject.) My reason for requiring the consent of parents is, among others, the constitutional provision which recognizes the sanctity of the human family and “the natural and primary right of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character.” (Article II, Section 12)

Sixth, I am pleased that the bill reiterates the prohibition of abortion as an assault against the right to life. Abortifacient pills and devices, if there are any in the market, should be banned by the Food and Drug Administration. But whether or not there are such is a question of scientific fact of which I am no judge.

Seventh, I hold that there already is abortion any time a fertilized ovum is expelled. The Constitution commands that the life of the unborn be protected “from conception.” For me this means that sacred life begins at fertilization and not at implantation.

Eighth, it has already been pointed out that the obligation of employers with regard to the sexual and reproductive health of employees is already dealt with in the Labor Code. If the provision needs improvement or nuancing, let it be done through an examination of the Labor Code provision.

Ninth, there are many valuable points in the bill’s Declaration of Policy and Guiding Principles which can serve the welfare of the nation and especially of poor women who cannot afford the cost of medical service. There are specific provisions which give substance to these good points. They should be saved.

Tenth, I hold that public money may be spent for the promotion of reproductive health in ways that do not violate the Constitution. Public money is neither Catholic, nor Protestant, nor Muslim or what have you and may be appropriated by Congress for the public good without violating the Constitution.

Eleventh, I leave the debate on population control to sociologists.

Finally, I am happy that the CBCP has disowned the self-destructive views of some clerics.

http://opinion.inquirer.net/5340/my-stand-on-the-rh-bill

  1. Ma Teresa Maganda
    May 24, 2011 at 5:19 am

    You are inconsistent, Fr. Bernas. The fact that you are Pro-RH and approves of Contraception, you are not adhering to the teaching of the Catholic Church. God forgive you for confusing the people.

  2. lolit bacarrisas
    May 24, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Hello Father Bernas,

    My warm greetings!

    While you have some points that may be right, but we should look at the RH Bill in totality, its effects and impact to the Filipino People. Once this Bill becomes a law, then we are the ones legalizing the culture of death in our own country.

    You should have listened to the stand of the women, specifically Congresswoman Ilagan, of GABRIELA during their IEC in VIP Hotel in Cagayan de Oro City explaining and advocating the various provisions of the proposed Bill.
    As a Priest, would you accept the stand of this Law Maker when she said and i quote “THAT ANY WIFE COULD SUBJECT HERSELF TO LIGATION EVEN WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE HUSBAND. WHEN THE BILL BECOMES A LAW THE WIFE OR ANY WOMAN HAS THE FULL RIGHT AND AUTHORITY OVER HER BODY? Is this what marriage is all about? Where is now the Couple’s Spirituality?

    Personally i am against the passage of this Bill for the reason that it is PRO Choice. Meaning, it allows couples to adopt Modern Methods in convenience while they also promote the Natural Family Planning Methods. This itself is a NO NO to my conscience and it’s against the teachings of the catholic church. Life as a gift from GOD must be protected and respected and any force that could destroy it must be prevented. I believe values education specifically teaching people on the Human Fertility must be given importance.

    Contraception is not a direct solution for a poor country such as ours. It is good governance and that good governance must not include telling people to contracept because you are poor. There are a lot of poor people who are very rich because they are happy with many children believing in Divine Providence. It is a challenge and the responsibility of government to provide equal access of resources, services and opportunities for the filipinos. Why wait for the RH Bill to become a law before these services will be given to the people? Is it not because of the very BIG FUNDING THAT AWAITS TO BE FEASTED BY THESE BIG CROCODILES IN CONGRESS? Think of it Father…..

    • May 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      you don’t have to use modern methods of contraception if you don’t want to. nobody is being forced to do so. the point of the bill is to give everyone an open and free choice on the contraception method the person chooses. the bill will also make sure that the users are able to make an informed choice.

      you need to stop defining what marriage is for others. leave that to the couple. you cannot and should not legislate what marriage should be. nor even nthe church can dictate that.

      • agatha
        May 25, 2011 at 8:29 am

        the point of lolit is valid.

        1987 constitution, states
        Section 12. The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.

        If one of the married couple decides on his/her own to undergo ligation or have vasectomy without the consent of the other, then it is an attack on the sanctity of family life.

        It is not only the right of one person in a marriage whether to have children or not. Both parties should be involved.

        • bughaw
          May 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

          you have no business nor the state on what people want to do with their body. it’s none of your business.

          • zatho
            May 27, 2011 at 9:55 am

            WRONG.. when an action of an individual brings ruin to a collective. the collective has the right to defend itself. Sanctity of Family Life is the collective.

            If you enter into a marriage, their is a contract. A party in that contract should not just decide on his/her own to do things that could ruin the marriage. LEGISLATORS SHOULD NOT ENCOURAGE COUPLES TO DO SO.

            MARRIED PEOPLE ARE NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS, THEY ARE A COUPLE.

            • bughaw
              May 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm

              every citizen has a right to decide on his/her own. the duty of the state is to give all individuals the correct information to be able to make an informed choice.

              • zatho
                May 28, 2011 at 8:30 am

                Pleae basahin mo muna yung comment bago ka mag reply.

                That’s how intelligent, and reasonable people will act.

                The post was about married people, not just individuals.

    • castiel666
      August 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      in behalf of my faith, what was it that did Fr. Bernas did not adhere by accepting the truth about this bill///
      it promotes welfare of the society.
      have you read it first?

  3. zatho
    May 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

    TO THE PEPOLE OF THE PHILIPPINES:

    HAVE YOU BEEN WONDERING WHY THERE IS SO MUCH AGGRESSIVE PROMOTION OF THE RH BILL IN OUR COUNTRY? READ ON…

    What’s New
    Philippines adopts US designed family-planning promotion plan

    02 September 2010
    United States Agency for International Development designed a new family planning promotion strategy being implemented by the Philippines government. The May Plano Ako programme has been conceptualised in line with the MDGs on population control and reproductive health and aims not only at women but also men and youth.

    The government has started implementing a new family planning marketing strategy designed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

    The “May Plano Ako” program, conceptualized by the USAID’s Health Promotion and Communication Project, or HealthPRO, is in line with the country’s Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs, especially those on population control and reproductive health.

    May Plano Ako “targets not only women but also men and young people” on the importance of family planning and contraceptive use, according to a top official of the Department of Health (DoH).

    Unlike previous family planning initiatives of the DoH, which were “sporadic and small-scale,” the new program will be “unified, national and comprehensive,” according to USAID and DoH program materials furnished the Inquirer.

    The US Embassy in Manila has acknowledged Washington’s active role in the Philippine government’s family planning initiatives.

    In a text message, Wossie Mazengia, the US Embassy deputy spokesperson, told the Inquirer that the USAID “continues to work in partnership with the DoH, local governments and the private sector to increase access to and improve the quality of basic health services, including family planning.”

    Training of nurses

    HealthPRO and the DoH-attached National Center for Health Promotion (NCHP) have so far trained 607 nurses and midwives and 2,217 barangay (village) health workers in 11 pilot provinces on “interpersonal communication and counseling on family planning, and maternal and child health.”

    The provinces are Bulacan, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Zamboanga del Sur, Compostela Valley, Albay, Pangasinan, Capiz and Davao del Sur.

    HealthPRO and NCHP are set to train another 700 health service providers and 3,000 barangay health workers in 12 other provinces: Cagayan, Isabela, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aklan, Bohol, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Norte, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay.

    The two groups plan to use “strategic communication to enhance family planning and maintain behavior change among targeted market segments in the Philippines.”

    May Plano Ako, finalized in June, has the “full support” of Health Secretary Enrique Ona, said Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin, NCHP head.

    Ona is scheduled to lead the launching of the program on Aug. 31 in Legazpi City while Undersecretary David Lozada and Assistant Secretary Nemesio Gaco are expected to grace similar activities in San Fernando, La Union, and Bacolod City, respectively.

    Communication strategy

    In a 37-page report, titled “Family Planning Behavior Change Communication Strategy,” the NCHP said: “The strategy builds on the understanding that encouraging individuals or couples to use family planning is a process, involving distinct audiences that need different messages and approaches.”

    “Information alone is not enough to bring about behavior change among any audience. Instead, the strategy is based on a multilevel, synchronized and holistic marketing approach to family planning.”

    The same report said “the approach is unique in that it focuses on increasing modern contraceptive use through demand generation, or increasing knowledge and forming positive attitudes toward contraceptive use and birth spacing; social marketing, or repackaging or selling the concept of family planning as a lifestyle that contributes to better quality of life; and service marketing, or building capacity of family-planning service providers and promoting model providers.”

    Lost opportunities

    The report also noted that previous family planning approaches of the DoH had “resulted in lost opportunities to involve men and young people and address values that may actually drive contraceptive use.”

    Citing data from the National Demographic and Health Survey and the Commission on Population, among others, the NCHP said that:
    Many poor Filipino women are having more children than they want.
    “Currently, the total number of children a Filipino woman has during her reproductive years is one child higher than the desired number, or 3.3 vs. 2.4. For the poorest women, it is two children (5.2) higher than the desired number.”

    A large proportion of married women, especially those with more than two children want no more kids, yet contraceptive use is low.

    “More than half (54 percent) of married women in the Philippines want no more children. The proportion of women who no longer want additional children increases with the number of living children.”

    “However, contraceptive use is low and has remained fairly stagnant over the last five years. Only one out of three married women is using a family planning method and only one out of three is using a modern method.”

    Unmet need

    Adolescents, those aged 15 to 19, have the “highest unmet need for family planning.”

    The DoH defines “unmet need” as “the percentage of married women who either want to stop having children or want to wait for their next birth but are not using any family planning method.”

    More than one in five pregnancies in the country are either mistimed or unwanted.

    Worse, “many women obtain an abortion when they discover an unplanned pregnancy.”

    “About one in five pregnancies in the Philippines end up in illegal abortions, mostly in unsafe conditions that can lead to maternal deaths.”
    In a May Plano Ako briefing paper, HealthPRO said “many Filipinos believe having a plan is good for their families.”

    “They not only want their government to help them plan their families. They also have to get the information and services they need to help them plan their families,” HealthPRO also said.

    Aside from HealthPRO, USAID’s other health-related projects in the country include SHIELD, short for Sustainable Health Improvement Through Empowerment and Local Development; Health Policy Development Program (HPDP); Private Sector Mobilization for Family Health (PRISM); and Strengthening Local Governance for Health (HealthGov).

    These projects are part of the US government’s “Country Assistance Strategy for the Philippines” from 2009 to 2013.

    P4.46B in USAID projects

    Last year, the USAID allocated $96.04 million (about P4.46 billion) to its projects in the Philippines.

    Nearly $27 million (about P1.25 billion) of the budget was spent on health-related projects like the drive against HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

    In June, then Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral cited the USAID as a DoH partner in the state’s family planning campaign.

    Earlier in an interview, Cabral told the Inquirer that the government’s family planning program had “not been as successful as we want it to be.”

    “Even as population growth is coming down, it is not coming down at the rate necessary to improve the country’s socioeconomic status,” she said.

    Target growth rate

    Cabral said the state needed to “bring it down (from 2.04 percent in 2008) to a level of 1.3 to 1.4 percent per annum where the population will stabilize.”

    In a report on the Philippines, the UN Millennium Campaign (on the MDGs) said “the country’s high population growth is diluting the gains of economic growth.”

    “The larger the population a country has, the greater will be the pressure on basic social services and on natural resources,” it said.

    Here, “more than one million babies are born every year. They will be needing resources in the future, such as health care, schooling, food, clothing and later on, employment. Even today, these needs are not being met,” the report added.

    Source: Asian Journal

  4. zatho
    May 25, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Even without this rh bill. every one is free to choose his way of contraception. GUSTO MO MAG PILLS- YOU ARE FREE TO DO IT. GUSTO MO MAG CONDOM – YOU ARE FREE TO DO IT NOW. You want ligation or vasectomy or iud– nobody is stopping you from getting access to it.

    What this bill does is to make it mandatory by means of brainwashing our children (by means of mandatory attendance in sex education classes). So that when they are of reproductive age, the children will find it ACCEPTABLE or EVEN THE EASIER CHOICE, to get contraceptives rather than to EXERCISE SELF CONTROL.

    This bill not only makes it alright for teens to engage in promiscuity. It promotes it by making it alright so long as you have protection or contraceptives.

    This Rh bill should be restricted to a rating of PG (parental guidance) or R (restricted) or even For Adults only.. This Rh bill makes it mandatory for children to attend sex education classes (without parental guidance)

    Ano ba naman ang gusto ng proponents nitong Rh bill na gawin sa bansa natin?

    Poverty is caused by lack of drive of people to succeed, lack of faith in God, and by greed/corruption of people. Sometimes by sheer stupidity and laziness.

    The solution for poverty is not immorality. Spending of millions of pesos (tax payers money) to give away contraceptives to people, to me seems to be the wrong approach.

    KAILAN BA NAGING ESSENTIAL MEDICINES ANG CONTRACEPTIVES? That we the taxpayers should be obligated to purchase with our taxes. Hypertension medicines, anti tuberculosis medicines, vaccines, antibiotics etc.. yun ang essential medicines. Alam mo ba kung ilan ang namamatay dahil walang pambili ng anti-hypertension medicines? dengue? etc.

    HOW CAN IT PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD when you give away contraceptives, which will be purchased from taxes of the people.

    HINDI BA NAKAKAHIYA IYON NA IBA ANG GAGASTOS NG CONDOM, PILLS etc para sa pagtatalik ng isang magka partner? Ano responsible doon? Dapat kung gusto mo mag condom, mag-condom ka pero ikaw bumili galing sa pera na pinaghirapan mo. Hindi galing sa pera ng ibang tao. DELIKADEZA LANG YUN, AT SELF RESPECT.

    And we are not talking only of a few pesos per condom, we are talking of hundreds of millions of pesos.

    THE GOVERNMENT MUST BE MORE CIRCUMSPECT IN SPENDING PEOPLE’S MONEY. Contraception is a private matter. The rh bill should promote individual responsibility.

    THIS IS HOW THEY WANT TO BRAINWASH OUR CHILDREN.. THEY WILL BE USING THE EDUCATONAL SYSTEM ( MANDATORY SEX EDUCATION ) TO MAKE CONTRACEPTION ACCEPTABLE TO YOUNG CHILDREN. SO THAT WHEN THEY GROW OLDER, THE CONTRACEPTIVE INDUSTRY WILL HAVE A MARKET FOR THEIR PRODUCTS.

    our children is not a market.. they are our future. if we allow the pro-rh to corrupt their minds now, what will happen to the philippines?

    What this rh bill wants is for our nation to have a culture of contraception. DO YOU WANT FOR OUR PEOPLE TO HAVE THIS CULTURE OF CONTRACEPTION?

    In Psychology and training, if you are promoting an idea, and you use mandatory education to propagate it, in layman terms, we call it BRAINWASHING. Brainwashing is the application of techniques that tend to persuade or coerce to implant ideas into the subjects. To affect a persons thought patterns and subsequent behavior (wether you realize it or not).

    “Age-appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be integrated in all relevant subjects…”

    If YOU PUT SEX EDUCATION INTO TEXT BOOKS, AND THE CHILDREN ARE TASKED TO STUDY THESE TEXTBOOKS , THEN THIS IS MANDATORY. THE RH BILL WANTS PARENTS TO OPT OUT OF THIS MANDATORY LESSONS. BUT HOW MANY PARENTS WILL EVEN BE AWARE OF THESE LESSONS? REMEMBER THE LESSONS WILL BE FROM GRADE 5 TO 4TH YEAR HIGH SCHOOL. THIS OPT OUT IS DECEPTIVE.. WHAT THEY SHOULD PUT IN THERE IS OPT IN.. MEANING IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO ATTEND SEX EDUCATION CLASSES THEN YOU CAN OPT IN.. THE WAY TO OPTING OUT IS DECEPTIVE AND IS NOT REASONABLE

    let the children get older so they may decide for themselves what they want to learn… to do. Education is not evil. It is alright , but if this rh bill gets passed into law. It will not be a choice anymore.

    If the children are too young to decide, then it is us parents who must protect them by by being wise.

    It is the parents who have primary responsibility in the moral upbringing of his child. If the government through its laws unreasonably interferes with it, then the law is inherently wrong.

    There are good points in this bill. But if you include those that intrude on parental authority, and religious freedom and also considering the manner by which this law is to be implemented, maraming bad points itong rh bill. It is not a good law.

    Alam mo ba na ang population ng mga muslim sa pilipinas is just a fraction of the entire population of the country? Pero mayroon silang special privileges. for example, pwede sila mag-asawa ng madami, maron silang principle na ‘blood money’, etc..

    You know why? Because of ‘FREEDOM OF RELIGION’. We respect their right to their beliefs. Maski na it is contrary to ours.

    MAYROON TAYONG FREEDOM DITO sa PILIPINAS. We should guard against any form of laws that will diminish our freedoms.

    Alam mo, this bill does not increase any of your freedoms that you now already enjoy. You already have this freedom to choose, what ever you like. You most certainly know what is there to know about family planning, sexuality, social dynamics, if you only inform yourself about it.

    This bill will not increase your knowledge or your freedom. THIS BILL WILL NOT MAKE OUR COUNTRY PROSPER.

    • bughaw
      May 26, 2011 at 11:00 am

      these conspiracy theories are all carp. the moderator should not allow crap like this.

      • zatho
        May 27, 2011 at 8:23 am

        you are running out of legitimate issues.. hahahaha

        ANSWER THE ISSUES… DON’T JUST MAKE PROPAGANDA !!

        that is the thrust of the pro rh bill.. this is news.

      • bughaw
        May 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

        any idiot can invent a conspiracy theory and no one will ever know if it’s true or not. it’s probably false invented by over-suspicious minds.

        it does not change the legitimate isues of over-population and the need to address it.

        • zatho
          May 28, 2011 at 7:51 am

          bughaw,

          THIS IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY. READ THE ARTICLES ABOVE. CHECK THE FACTS.

          ANALYZE MY POSTS. THIS IS THE TRUTH.

          You just have to have an open mind. Be neutral in your thinking. You will see the truth

  5. agatha
    May 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    To Father Bernas,

    Warmest greetings.

    May I request a clarification on this matter?

    Is it alright to believe that you want this bill to get passed into law ONLY if the bad provisions are taken out or amended? Or are you alright with the bill as it is?

    Is the headline true? Or is it being used for propaganda? ‘Fr. Joaquin Bernas on RH BIll – he supports it and decries irresponsible priests’

    If we pass this rh bill now, the bad points will be passed along with the good points.
    Should we not sift out the bad points first?

    Thank you, sir.

  6. Lovella
    May 30, 2011 at 7:27 am

    to Zatho: i agree on the arguments you presented, p[lease allow me to repost it. In my own opinion, giving contraceptives to poor families who needed it only sharpens their poverty. What they need is A GOOD LIFE that… is supported with A GOOD SOURCE OF INCOME…. With this as the condition, these families can afford to buy contraceptives and CAN CHOOSE for themselves if they’ll use contraceptives or not.

    • May 30, 2011 at 11:40 am

      it is unrealistic to think that the poor will be able to have their income increase at a much faster rate than than an increase in income will need with a new addition to the number of children they already have. the poor as is already have too many children and too little income. most of the poor are on a day to day survival with their meager income. many of them do not even get minimum wage income. let’s say the impossible is possible – even if they are able to get a good increase in income right now, the resulting income will still fall short of their current needs. what more will an unplanned pregnancy do?

      the RH Bill is badly needed by poor pinoy families.

    • zatho
      July 1, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      Lovella

      Thank you for your comment.

      If you and I have the same idea, then my comments are yours also.
      Please feel free to repost it.

  7. Lovella
    May 30, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Contraceptives is already legal in the Philippines and it stinks to know that congressmen (and congresswomen) are determined to pass this bill. It is not unknown to us that every law implemented has figures attached into it. To this my nose… smelled the stink of the rotting fish. What do you think?

  8. May 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Lovella :

    Contraceptives is already legal in the Philippines and it stinks to know that congressmen (and congresswomen) are determined to pass this bill. It is not unknown to us that every law implemented has figures attached into it. To this my nose… smelled the stink of the rotting fish. What do you think?

    the point of the RH Bill is NOT to legalize contraceptives nor does it say it is not legal that there is a need a law to pass it. you have obviously not read the bill yet. please read the RH Bill first and understand what it is.

    read here: https://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/consolidated-reproductive-health-bill-full-text-house-bill-4244/

  9. May 30, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    zatho :

    WRONG.. when an action of an individual brings ruin to a collective. the collective has the right to defend itself. Sanctity of Family Life is the collective.

    If you enter into a marriage, their is a contract. A party in that contract should not just decide on his/her own to do things that could ruin the marriage. LEGISLATORS SHOULD NOT ENCOURAGE COUPLES TO DO SO.

    MARRIED PEOPLE ARE NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS, THEY ARE A COUPLE.

    how is taking contraceptives going to ruin a marriage? the point of using contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancies. even the catholic church allows NFP which has the same purpose – prevent unwanted pregnancy. no difference in objective or intent.

    the only difference is modern methods of contraception are much more effective than NFP.

    in fact, a small family and proper spacing enhances a marriage as the couple will be able to properly provide for all the needs of their children.

    • zatho
      June 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

      Excerpt from house bill 4244

      SEC. 28. Prohibited Acts
      (a) Any healthcare service provider, whether public or private, who shall:
      (2) Refuse to perform legal and medically-safe reproductive health procedures on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of third party consent or authorization. In case of married persons, the mutual consent of the spouses shall be preferred. However in case of disagreement, the decision of the one undergoing the procedure shall prevail…
      —————————

      MARRIED PEOPLE ARE NOT JUST INDIVIDUALS, THEY ARE A COUPLE.

      LIGATION AND VASECTOMY are permanent procedures.

      Gusto mo ba na hinihikayat nitong rh bill na kapag naisip ng asawa mo na gusto niyang mag pa-ligate o kaya magpa-vasectomy, wala kang magagwa?

      Ok ba sa you na pag naisip ng asawa mo na magpa-ligate o magpa-vasectomy, hindi ka na magkakaroon ng legitimate children?

  10. May 30, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    zatho :

    Even without this rh bill. every one is free to choose his way of contraception. GUSTO MO MAG PILLS- YOU ARE FREE TO DO IT. GUSTO MO MAG CONDOM – YOU ARE FREE TO DO IT NOW. You want ligation or vasectomy or iud– nobody is stopping you from getting access to it.

    without a law, government officials have the liberty to do whatever they please in terms of family planning programs just like the way arroyo did during her term. during arroyo’s term, she stopped the distribution and promotion of modern methods of contraception and directed government clinics and hospitals to promote only NFP.

    this bill ensures couples will be given free and open choice to the family planning method they can use. couples will be given professional information and counseling on BOTH methods, not just one.

    you need to also read the bill first. it seems you also do not understand what the bill is all about.

    • kiko laurel
      June 27, 2011 at 8:39 am

      Mabuti pa nagbigay ka sa pulubi, napupunta sa pagkain,sa gamot,sa tirahan, sa emergency at pwede din sa kalokohan. PERO pag condom ang binigay mo sigurado ka sa KALOKOHAN lang mapupunta. .

      Sa charity — may natutulungan ka, for the good of man at society. Pag condom sino tinutulungan mo? YUNG NAGPAPASARAP ! Habang ikaw ta-tanga-tanga lang at naiingit

      SINO DAPAT TULUNGAN MO YUNG NAGPAPASARAP na ikaw ang gagastos o YUNG MAHIRAP na binibigyan mo relief sa harshness ng buhay?

      That’s how ridiculous it is to give away condoms.

    • zatho
      June 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm

      wawam

      you said “you need to also read the bill first. it seems you also do not understand what the bill is all about.”
      ———————–
      You post a comment just for the sake of posting. You only want to pursue a stupid propaganda. You must be really stupid to think that the anti rh do not understand the rh bill

      We already have a free and open choice of family planning method in the philippines with out the rh bill. What we want among other things is for the people who want to use contraceptives is to buy it themselves. Hindi dapat libre. Why should we spend for other people’s copulation. If you want to use a condom . Then buy it.

      Wawam. we don’t need your stupidity.

  11. Ojo
    June 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I am pro-RH bill for the following reasons:

    1) as we have learned from Basic Economics, resources are scarce. This means that if population grows fast without having much difference in a state’s economy, people would suffer because the resources (food, water, electricity, etc) would not be enough to sustain the needs of the ever-growing population. It is bull-crap to think that increase in population improves the economy. Please remember guys that our country is lagging behind compared to our neighbors. Perhaps a change in policies will change the current of the tide. Always remember that if Demand (No. of People) is higher compared to Supply (Amount of Resources), prices will increase, and vice versa. Again, this is Basic Economics.

    2) Fr. Bernas was right that Freedom of Religion includes the Freedom to act or not to act in accordance with one’s beliefs. The RH bill only facilitates the people to KNOW MORE about FAMILY PLANNING METHODS. It does not legalize these FPMs but PROVIDE INFORMATION to the POOR, because they DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO BUY THESE and most of them are NOT KNOWLEDGEABLE about these methods (primarily because of poverty, they don’t have access to the much-needed information).

    3) Zatho, this is for you: of course sex education is much needed from grade 5 to 4th year because this is the time when adolescents start having the POTENTIAL TO HAVE CHILDREN and start having knowledge about sex. Girls start having menstruation at 10-11 years old. Kaya nga may mga babaeng nabubuntis at the age of 12-13. This is the truth!!! Nangyayari kaya ang mga ito… And case in point, I remember nung HS kami, we were taught about sex then. And look at it, no one from us got pregnant till the age of 18, the age of majority!

    • zatho
      July 3, 2011 at 12:46 am

      Ojo

      you said —
      “1)…This means that if population grows fast without having much difference in a state’s economy…”

      “2)… The RH bill only facilitates the people to KNOW MORE about FAMILY PLANNING METHODS…”

      “3) Zatho, this is for you: of course sex education is much needed from grade 5 to 4th year because this is the time when adolescents start having the POTENTIAL TO HAVE CHILDREN and start having knowledge about sex…”

      I say —
      1. What we need is a no non-sense anti graft and corruption policy. It is common knowledge that all contracts involving the government has a kickback of 30 – 40 %. Some of the contracts which I personally know has 60% kickback.

      Ito ang nagpapahirap sa bansa natin, compounded by the ineptitude of our country’s leaders, and also the laziness and lack of discipline of many of our countrymen.

      We don’t need the rh bill to control population growth. The population growth rate has been declining almost at every census, even without the rh bill. Huwag kayo maniniwala sa mga propagandist ng rh bill. Look at the official statistics from

      http://www.nscb.gov.ph/secstat/d_popn.asp

      1970 36,684,486 3.08 Census
      1975 42,070,660 2.78 Census
      1980 48,098,460 2.71 Census
      1990 60,703,206 2.35 Census
      1995 68,616,536 2.32 Census
      2000 76,504,077 2.36 Census
      2007 88,574,614 2.04 Census

      Projected
      Average Annual Exponential Growth Rates, Philippines: 2000-2040
      Year Growth Rate
      2000-2005 2.05
      2005-2010 1.95
      2010-2015 1.82
      2015-2020 1.64
      2020-2025 1.46
      2025-2030 1.27
      2030-2035 1.09
      2035-2040 0.92

      2. and 3. MANDATORY SEX EDUCATION or FAMILY PLANNING EDUCATION?

      In the 1980’s there have also been programs in family planning. As a grade 5 pupil, I attended these lessons. It was in the curriculum. And I think it is alright. It is not wrong teach children this basic information.

      But, if you promote artificial contraception in the context of mandatory sex education, you will be subjecting children to an ENFORCED values education; to change their beliefs, and behavior. (This is an avowed goal of this rh bill).

      In Psychology and training, if you are promoting an idea, and you use mandatory education to propagate it, in layman terms, we call it BRAINWASHING. Brainwashing is the application of techniques that tend to persuade or coerce; to implant ideas into the subjects. To affect a persons thought patterns and subsequent behavior (whether you realize it or not).

      Ultimately, the goal of this mandatory sex education is to make contraception acceptable to our children. It is BRAINWASHING. And with children, it does not have to be violent to for it to be brainwashing. It just has to be manipulative. It is a form of child abuse. It is highly unethical.

      Let our children grow up having the freedom to choose what they want to learn or do; instead of manipulating, deceiving, or indoctrinating them (with or without their consent) to make them use contraceptives later on in life.

      Do you want our children to grow up in a culture of contraception? Let our schools teach our children good manners and right conduct, instead of contraception.

      Let the parents teach their children about values, about morality. Is this not freedom of religion? IS THIS NOT WHAT PRO-CHOICE MEAN? Is this not the right of the Filipino people?

      • Ojo
        October 6, 2011 at 8:53 pm

        Macroeconomically-speaking, population growth rate is going down. But the RH Bill’s main thrust is the poorest of the poor who cannot afford family-planning methods. Sure, population growth rate is going down but there are families who are very very poor and whose quality of life may not be good because they cannot afford the FPMs. I am more concerned of the individual situations of individual families rather than the aggregate situation of the Philippines as a whole…

  12. June 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    father Bernas seems confused on the moral theology of the church.because he is too preoccupied with legal matters.his frame of mind is leading to the concept that what is legal it is moral.=this is NO,because what is legal is not necessarily moral.
    ABORTION IS ALWAYS WRONG EVEN IF IT IS LEGAL.
    Father Bernas you should be the one who will set an example in defending the moral stand of the church.do not act as devils advocate on this issue.

    • Ojo
      June 23, 2011 at 10:23 pm

      what is moral is relative. Fr. Bernas just took into consideration the diverse beliefs of different people. he may take the stand of the church, but as a lawyer, he must also take note of the different religions existing in the country. please do remember that he is not just a priest, but a priest-lawyer.

  13. kiko laurel
    June 27, 2011 at 8:32 am

    GUSTO MO BANG MAG-LAAN ANG GOBYERNO NG DAAN-DAANG MILYON HANGGANG BILYON-BILYONG PISO PARA SA CONTRACEPTION O PARA SA HEAlTH CARE?
    ——————————–
    ‘Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish… he will have food a lifetime”

    If you give a man a condom, he will have momentary joy (which is not even productive). And you have to continuously provide for his condom. Otherwise, just a slip-up in using it will render the contraception program useless.

    If you support a person to be productive instead, and give him the know-how on being responsible, he’ll take that knowledge and training, and it will be beneficial for a lifetime. The children may also learn the value of productivity and of being responsible. And it will benefit them also in the long term
    —————————————
    Ganito ang aking rationale.

    1. Kapag tinulungan natin ang isang pamilya. Nakakapag ayuda ito para maging produktibo ang mga magulang. Na sa sa kalaunan ay matututong mas mag pursigi sa buhay nila.

    2. Kapag binigyan natin ng ayuda ang mahirap na pamilya, nabibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga anak na makapasok sa paaralan. Imbes na nasa lansangan na naghahanap-buhay at nanglilimos.

    3. Sa katagalan, aking naiisip na kapag nakapag-aral sa iskwela ang mga bata ay mabibigyan sila ng panibagong pananaw na hindi lang puro kahirapan ang kanilang dapat maranasan. HOPE ika nga na pwede silang magbago ng pamumuhay. Isipin mo, kapag walang pinag-aralan ang mga bata dahil sa kahirapan, hindi na makaka-ahon sa kahirapan. Hindi na makaka-kuha ng magandang trabaho, di ba? Haggang pagiging katulong na lang.

    4. KAILANGAN BA NATIN ANG RH BILL? Yung health care ay obligasyon ng gobyerno, maski wala ang rh bill. Maski sa ngayon, pwedeng mag punta sa mga public hospital para mag-pagamot sa karamdaman o mag-konsulta tungkol sa pagbubuntis. Sa ngayon meron naman social service department na magbigay ng discounts sa mga mahihirap na nanganganak. Pwede namang palawakin ng gobyerno ang pagbigay ayuda sa mga buntis na manganganak maski wala ang rh bill.

    GUSTO MO BANG MAG-LAAN ANG GOBYERNO NG DAAN-DAANG MILYON HANGGANG BILYON-BILYONG PISO PARA SA CONTRACEPTION O PARA SA HEAlTH CARE?

    5. Maraming kawing-kawing na provisions itong rh bill, na hindi maganda at makaka-sama pa sa pag-iisip ng mga kabataan at sa integridad ng buhay pamilya.
    Gusto mo bang ang anak mo ay ipasa-ilalim sa isang proseso ng brainwashing? Para lang matuto at kumilos na sang-ayon sa paghihikayat ng gobyerno? Ito ang adhikain at proseso ng Enforced or Mandatory Sexuality Education para mahikayat ang mga kabataaan na gumamit ng contraceptives.

    Gusto mo ba na may isang guro (na maaring lalaki at manyakis) na magtuturo sa iyong anak na dalagita, kung paano gumamit ng condom at paano makipag-talik na safe? Ok ba sa iyo ito? Isipin mo ang kalagayan ng public school system sa Pilipinas.

    Ok ba sa iyo na hinihikayat ng gobyerno, at ilalagay pa sa batas na karapatan ng anak mong maski musmos pa lang na humingi ng contraceptives at gumamit nito at mag-undergo ng ‘medically safe at legal procedures’? (Hindi ba nakakatakot na maaari kang kasuhan dahil ikaw ay lalabag sa karapatan ng anak mo kapag pinigilan mo ito? Hindi ko sinasabi na automatic na kakasuhan ka, pero maaaring mangyari ito.)

    Ok ba sa iyo yung provision na nagsasabi na kapag ikaw ay kinasuhan sa prosecutors office, NA IKAW AY MAWAWALAN NA NG KARAPATAN BILANG MAGULANG SA IYONG ANAK? Maski itong kaso ay nasa prosecutors office pa lamang? Isipin mo ang repercussions nito.

    6. Gusto mo ba na isasa-batas na ang isang employer ay hindi pwedeng tanggihan sa trabaho ang isang manggagawa sa dahilang ito ay buntis? Isipin mo, isang babae na buntis na maaring mapahamak sa trabaho, dahil sa kondisyon niya, pero kailangan mong tanggapin sa trabaho. Hindi ba walang sense na provision ito?

    7. Gusto mo ba yung batas na naghihikayat na balewalain ng asawa mo ang iyong karapatan na magkaroon ng legitimate na anak, kapag naisipan niya, na gusto niya na magpa-ligate o kaya magpa-vasectomy?

  14. August 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm


    There are moderate voices in the catholic community of the Philippines such as Fr. Bernas. At
    http://youtu.be/ytmnBh4mBTc and http://film-and-television.com
    he talks about his support for the RH bill and moral issues surrounding the debate.
    We need more tolerant voices in the catholic church such as Fr. Bernas who are not to swim against the stream of mainstream opinion.

  15. September 1, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    CBCP spokesman Msgr. Figura discusses why the RH bill is immoral and how the CBCP perceives other cultures and catholic priests such as Fr. Bernas who support the RH bill.

  16. bing
    September 27, 2011 at 2:20 am

    What about condom advertisements on televisions?i dont want my kids to have a daily dose of condom/pills ads …remember robin padilla’s trust condom ads?

  17. Mel
    November 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    RH bill has a nebulous concept in alleviating the social problems! it is not the solution at all and not be the solution!

  18. Mel
    November 21, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Proponents of the RH Bill claimed that Phils. is overpopulated where in fact Philippines is NOT. The budget allotted in this bill is gargantuan, which ranged to billion. If this money will be given to the informal settlers or squatters in the highly urbanized cities, let them go back in their provinces and give them livelihood their, what do you think is the result? The overpopulation in the highly urbanized cities will be addressed.

  19. Mel
    November 21, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Ang problema sa gobyerno ay ora-orada magbigay ng solutions without analyzing first the real problem, overpopulation is not a problem.: scarce economy, increasing rate of abortion, poverty etc. will not be solved by mere RHBILL only! RHbill is just a band aid only trying to suppress the fast bleeding from wide wounds of the society.

  20. Vic
    July 31, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Think……Our Lord Jesus giving contraceptives……..

  21. Mayie
    August 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Hi everyone, I just would like to post a comment here because I know that this controversial RH Bill involves every Filipino. I am very much disappointed with the stand of Fr. Bernas and that of all people, he is the least of the persons I expect who approves of this. I commend Zatho for your well-researched and obviously knowledgeable comments. Certainly, it has the veracity. I am an OB-Gyne doctor and I studied in Manila, had my residency training in Cebu and worked all over Visayas and Mindanao. In my experience, I have been exposed to different government hospitals and barangay health centers. You are right, USAID provides funding for all these contraceptives and ligation procedures. This help or aid from the US is good but when it lands on greedy and selfish individuals, it will become a liability!!!! Here are some examples based on experience:
    1. A teenage unwed mother wants to ask for contraceptive pills from a barangay health center but was turned down because she was told there is nothing that they have there that is FREE. Everything is FOR SALE. In other words, the pill that is supposed to be given for free is already made a means of CORRUPTION!!
    2. I had a 25-yr old patient complaining of severe abdominal pain and that she had missed menses for already 3 months. She does not want to entertain pregnancy since she had underwent ligation after her last delivery 2 years ago. I still requested for pregnancy test and lo and behold, it’s positive. Our main diagnosis now is Ectopic Pregnancy. What I do not approve of is the age at the time of her ligation. We should just not perform Tubal Ligation left and right at the expense of these poor women! We should remember that even a more permanent contraceptive measure like Tubal Ligation also has some percentage of failure to its credit. I am very much angered by OB-Gyne Residents who perform these “mini-surgeries” without thinking of the consequences.
    3. I have encountered countless women ages ranging from 30-65 years old who were inserted with IUD and because they are free, they have already forgotten to have them removed.

    My fellow countrymen, we do not need another law like this. As a doctor, we need more budget for Maternal Health Care. Increase the budget for government hospitals. I urge you to just stay and observe and have your own “Immersion” at our government hospitals and you will see for yourself the pathetic scenario.
    I believe that this Bill will only be another “Ningas Cogon” Bill!!! It will only be a source of CORRUPTION! Many hours and millions of pesos have already been wasted by this BILL and that we should spend it on more important things like Health Care and Education. Ang mga tao sa Senado at Kongreso pagkatapos ng CJ Corona Case, ito na naman ang inaatupag. Please naman, wag na itong BILL na ito. Katulad ng Clean Air Act, ilan na ba ang nahuhuling driver ng mga sasakyan na nagbubuga ng usok? Let’s work on Laws which help to promote our Environmental Awareness like the “No Smoking Campaign”, “Plant a Tree Campaign”. What about the “No To Styrofoam Campaign” and “Recycle and Reuse Campaign”. If these Laws are to be passed and enforced, I will 100% support these. The RH Bill- it’s a NO-NO. It’s a waste-of-money kind of BILL! Kahit anong bill ang ipasa for Responsible Parenthood or any bill concerning Contraception and/or Population Control, di na natin kailangan yan kasi matagal na tayo meron niyan. Kulang ng POLITICAL WILL ang mga lider ng gobyerno!!

    • August 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      there has not been an rh bill before.

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