Posts Tagged ‘ateneo professors’

ateneo upholding academic freedom : “The university has its own purposes which cannot be subordinated to other objectives”

September 3, 2012 Leave a comment


Understanding Catholic universities

by: fr joaquin bernas sj

In discussing Catholic universities one must  begin with Canon 808 of the Code of Canon Law which says: “Even if it really be Catholic, no university may bear the title or name Catholic university without the consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority.” In that technical juridical sense, the Ateneo and almost all other institutions in the Philippines, save one perhaps, which are publicly regarded as Catholic, are not in juridical terms Catholic. But are they Catholic in any other sense?

Even Canon 808 suggests that institutions which do not have the ecclesiastical title of Catholic can in fact be “really Catholic.” The appellation of Catholic can come from various sources. It can come, for instance, from its origins as founded by various religious orders of men and women. That in fact is how most Catholic institutions in the Philippines started. The appellation also comes from what in fact they do. For this reason these institutions are recognized as affiliated with the Church even if not “canonically Catholic.”

It must also be said that a canonical title is not the litmus test for being truly Catholic. Pope John Paul II in fact looks for more in a Catholic university. In a speech before Catholic universities in the United States, both canonically recognized and not, he said:

“A Catholic university or college must make a specific contribution to the Church and to society through high-quality scientific research, in-depth study of problems, and a just sense of history, together with the concern to show the full meaning of the human person regenerated in Christ, thus favoring the complete development of the person. Furthermore, the Catholic university or college must train young men and women of outstanding knowledge who, having made a personal synthesis of faith and culture, are both capable and willing to assume tasks in the service of the community and of society in general, and to bear witness to their faith before the world. And finally, to be what it ought to be, a Catholic college or university must set up, among its faculty and students, a real community which bears witness to a living and operative Christianity, a community where sincere commitment to scientific research and study goes together with a deep commitment to authentic Christian living.

“This is your identity. This is your vocation. . . .  The term ‘Catholic’ will never be a mere label, either added or dropped according to the pressures of varying factors.”

Briefly, a Catholic university is not just an institute for teaching catechism.

Further, in the same speech, John Paul II emphasized the importance of academic freedom:  “As one who for long years have been a university professor, I will never tire of insisting on the eminent role of the university, which is to instruct but also to be a place of scientific research. In both these fields, its activity is deeply related to the deepest and noblest aspiration of the human person: the desire to come to the knowledge of truth. No university can rightfully deserve the esteem of the world of higher learning unless it applies the highest standards of scientific research, constantly updating the methods and working instruments, and unless it excels in seriousness, and therefore in freedom of investigation.”

It is in this context that Fr. Jose “Jett” Villarin has defended what the Ateneo professors have been doing. At the same time, this is the measuring rod according to which Ateneo professors, and other professors of Catholic universities, must examine their individual consciences. Similarly, those who criticize them must meet them in the context of the field of expertise from which they write and not only in the limited context of the Baltimore Catechism.

One might also ask, is Father Jett being faithful to the teachings of the Society of Jesus? We Jesuits tend to disagree among ourselves about almost everything. As an Italian saying goes, Tre Jesuiti, quattro opinioni. Perhaps cinque or even more. But I think if we surveyed the opinion of Jesuits in school work we will find them overwhelmingly in agreement with the words of the superior general of the Jesuits, Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach in an address titled “The Jesuit University in the Light of Ignatian Charism.” He said: “Far be it from us to try to convert the university into a mere instrument of evangelization or, worse still, for proselytizing. The university has its own purposes which cannot be subordinated to other objectives. It is important to respect institutional autonomy, academic freedom, and to safeguard personal and community rights.” Father Kolvenbach goes on to insist that there is no inherent schizophrenia in the identity of a Jesuit college or university. “In a Catholic university, or one of Christian inspiration, under the responsibility of the Society of Jesus, there does not exist—nor can there exist—incompatibility between the goals proper to the university and the Christian and Ignatian inspiration that should characterize any apostolic institution of the Society of Jesus.”

Father Jett told me at supper that Archbishop Chito Tagle, at the wake for Jesse Robredo, condoled and commiserated with him (probably with a wink!) as he parries the slings and arrows coming his way from “loyal Catholic catechists.”  Jett can take it. He is young and was valedictorian of the same Ateneo college batch as Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

unheard women of palawan speak on family planning & the rh bill

August 22, 2012 Leave a comment

ateneo president fr villarin ignores bishop, upholds independent thinking and appreciates ateneo professors efforts on rh bill

August 21, 2012 5 comments

in the long held tradition of the ateneo, fr. villarin, ateneo president not only upholds independent thinking but more importantly appreciates the 192 professors who have released a statement of their support on the rh bill. the latter to me was unexpected.

some weeks ago,  the ateneo professors released a statement where 160 of them stated their support for the rh bill, calling for congress to pass the bill. that caught the attention of the rh bill advocates and was one of the most talked about among groups involved on the bill.

then just a few days ago, the same group of ateneo professors released another statement saying an additional 33 professors signed on to their statement of support for the rh bill.

that once again caught the attention of opposing forces on the rh bill debate and this time  included traditional media. it helped that that was the time that president aquino included the rh bill on his SONA and it was causing excitement in congress. the renewed interest and strong publicity of the statement of the ateneo professors supporting the rh bill also caught the attention of the CBCP and a permanent member of it.

CBCP member bishop medroso has said the ateneo professors who aired their support for the rh bill should be investigated to see if they should be fired for teaching the rh bill at the ateneo. the CBCP opposes the rh bill.

bishop medroso says the ateneo being a catholic school should toe the line of the CBCP on the rh bill. according to him by implication, ateneo can lose its recognition as a catholic school and the professors their jobs if they teach their students their support to the rh bill in the classrooms.

as a reaction to the growing and very loud voices on the ateneo professors’ statements,  this letter was released by  fr. villarin. it was released very quickly, just one day after the threat of the bishop was written up in the press.

the letter states that it recognizes the individual stand of the professors in their support of the rh bill and accepts that there are divergent views on the rh bill and the ateneo professors position is one of them.

the most important part is that he does not sanction the ateneo professors for their stand supporting the rh bill which is contrary to the school’s stand and the CBCP. the CBCP bishop was in less than subtle terms wanted the sanction.

read here:

bishop wants pro rh bill Ateneo professors fired – hahahaha –

fr. villarin even goes on to give the ateneo professors encouragement, saying they should “continue in their discernment of the common good“, appreciating the intent the professors stated in their position paper which was to help the poor, saying “I appreciate their social compassion and intellectual efforts“.

we thought that the last part on the “intellectual efforts” was not just a recognition of the high quality work and thinking the professors put into their statement but also a subtle allusion to the quality, or lack of it, of the discourse from anti rh bill proponents.

Church Of The Gesu At The Ateneo De Manila University

it is very clear that in this letter, fr. villarin:

  1. ignores, rebukes and delivers a slap in the face of the CBCP and the bishop who was calling for the ateneo professors to be fired from their teaching jobs at the ateneo
  2. key here is fr. villarin has stated no sanctions of any sort or censure on the ateneo professors. this is the exact opposite of what the cbcp and the bishop wanted
  3. he sees the action of the ateneo professors in a very different light from what the bishop was trying to say
  4. the ateneo agrees to disagree with the ateneo professors as fr. villarin states that the ateneo as a catholic school opposes the passage of the rh bill
  5. respects the opposing view of the ateneo professors and allows them to pursue their views as the professors see fit
  6. states that the school has been teaching in the classrooms the anti rh bill position of the school and the CBCP. this is important as this establishes the CBCP may not sanction ateneo as it is in fact teaching its position.
  7. that sets up the point that the statement released by the professors are indeed just their individual and personal view on the rh bill and thus cannot be sanctioned by the school or the CBCP. fr. villarin has drawn a differentiation between what the professors teach in the classroom and what they say as individuals. the latter goes to freedom of expression and academic freedom.
  8. although obviously unstated, we think fr. villarin is pro rh bill. he just could not say it being the president of the catholic school ateneo. not saying comes within the territory of his job as president of the catholic school he heads.
  9. rather than calling for the non passage of the rh bill, fr. villarin is calling for amendments to the bill.
  10. he also probably thinks the rh bill will be passed, saying that the community should work for making sure no coercion is done in its implementation allowing for people to exercise free will to decide to avail or not avail any of the components of the rh bill.
  11. the  letter shows a very keen appreciation of the pro-poor and pro-people stance of the ateneo professors in their support of the rh bill. we think it is obvious from here that fr. villarin together with the ateneo professors believe and practice in being “man for others”
  12. upholds the ateneo tradition of encouraging, in fact teaching informed independent thinking, inclusive of whether it agrees or disagrees with its own position. this is a tradition in the school. if the students are taught this, why shouldn’t it allow the professors to exercise the same?
  13. we think this one of the strongest statements in that letter : “Nevertheless, Catholic tradition has always taught that reason and faith are not enemies but allies in the service of God’s truth.” reason here refers to the position paper released by the ateneo professors while faith refers to the position of the CBCP, the bishop and the university. he is saying here that they really should not clash or one cancel the other, and that in fact both can be combined to reach the “service of God’s truth”. he is saying both are right and not one is wrong over the other.
  14. in saying both are right and not one is wrong over the other has the effect of siding with the ateneo professors. the previous and original statement released by the ateneo professors had this as the topic : “catholics in conscience can support the rh bill”. (click here: Catholics Can Support The RH Bill In Good Conscience – Ateneo Professors’ Position Paper RH Bill 5043)

clearly, fr. villarin is a man of high intellect with a genuine gift for communicating and words. it is also obvious he has a full understanding of his role, the ateneo professors and the school and its dynamics and core values.  he has done his job well as president of the ateneo.

this is a proud day for ateneo and ateneans.

Memo to the University Community from the President

date posted: 2012-08-21 12:30:09

20 August 2012

Memo to:       The University Community

Subject:          HB 4244

Together with our leaders in the Catholic Church, the Ateneo de Manila University does not support the passage of House Bill 4244 (The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Bill).  As many of these leaders have pointed out, the present form of the proposed bill contains provisions that could be construed to threaten constitutional rights as well as to weaken commonly shared human and spiritual values.

Now that the period for amendments is about to begin, I enjoin all in the Ateneo community to continue in-depth study of the present bill, and to support amendments to remove provisions that could be ambiguous or inimical from a legal, moral or religious perspective.

In connection with this, I call attention to the 192 members of our faculty who have grappled with the underlying issues in the context of Catholic social teaching, and who have spoken in their own voice in support of the bill.  Though the University must differ from their position for the reasons stated above, I appreciate their social compassion and intellectual efforts, and urge them to continue in their discernment of the common good.  As there is a spectrum of views on this ethical and public policy issue, I ask all those who are engaged in the Christian formation of our students to ensure that the Catholic position on this matter continues to be taught in our classes, as we have always done.

Should the bill with whatever amendments be passed, we should neither hesitate to bring to the judiciary whatever legal questions we may have nor cease to be vigilant in ensuring that no coercion takes place in implementation.

If there is no easy answer to the concerns that the proposed bill raises or no facile unanimity among divergent views, this only proves the complexity, depth, and sensitivity of these concerns.  Nevertheless, Catholic tradition has always taught that reason and faith are not enemies but allies in the service of God’s truth.  From this tradition, we can draw strength and compassion in our often tortuous journey as persons in community toward the greater glory of God and the service of God’s people.

Jose Ramon T Villarin SJ



bishop wants pro rh bill Ateneo professors fired – hahahaha

August 20, 2012 6 comments

the rhetoric on the rh bill and the ateneo de manila professors just got raised a few levels up with a bishop medroso saying the ateneo professors who are pro rh bill should be investigated and should be fired from their jobs if they are giving “instructions”  contrary to the catholic church’s teachings, the rh bill in particular. the catholic church is against the rh bill.

good luck to the bishop on that one. the statements of the ateneo professors have been released on the basis of what they say there as their individual and personal view on the rh bill and not of the university nor does it say it is what  they teach in the classrooms of the ateneo. the disclaimer is written on the first few paragraphs of the statement the professors released.

Ateneo De Manila College Administration Building

there are few grey areas on the threat of the bishop.

professors and doctors who teach at the ateneo medical school will need to teach about modern methods of contraception. it is part and parcel of any lesson on reproductive health and obstetrics. all ob-gyn doctors should know this. will the doctor teachers covering the topic be fired from their jobs?

an economics professor for example can cover the topic of population as it relates to economic theories. population and family size is a key component of the rh bill discussion, will these professors be fired too?

when students bring up the topic of rh bill during class discussion, should the teacher refuse to discuss it?

read the statements of the ateneo professors here:

160 Ateneo De Manila University Professors declare support for the RH Bill –

Catholics Can Support The RH Bill In Good Conscience – Ateneo Professors’ Position Paper RH Bill 5043 –

we think that as long as the professors say in class, to their students that the school as a whole is anti-rh bill, the professor and students can proceed to discuss everything and anything about the rh bill. college education is all about discourse on the two sides of any issue or topic.

the ateneo classroom in particular is known for such discourse. one of the cornerstones of  an ateneo education is informed independent thinking. building independent thinkers is one of the most cherished goals of an ateneo education.

good luck to changing the very core of what the ateneo education is all about.

Catholic Church wants pro-RH bill Ateneo professors sacked
By 10:20 pm | Monday, August 20th, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—It’s not exactly an inquisition but 159 members of the Ateneo de Manila University faculty may face investigation, and sacked if found guilty.

Bishop Leandro Medroso, in an interview over Church-run Radio Veritas on Monday, called for an investigation of the Ateneo faculty members who signed a statement declaring support for the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill being pushed by the Aquino administration in Congress.

Medroso, the permanent council member of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Canon Law, said the university should make sure that the teachers who endorsed House Bill No. 4244 have not been teaching concepts against Church laws.

“That has to be investigated. The first principle of Canon law about this matter is that we don’t allow teaching that is against the official teachings of the Church. Now, if there is somebody who is giving instructions against the teachings of the Church, then they have to investigate immediately,” Medroso said.

Read more…

Ateneo Professor’s Position Paper On RH Bill 5043 – posted here

December 11, 2008 Leave a comment

posted here the full text of the position paper of the ateneo professors on RH Bill 5043 entitled : CATHOLICS CAN SUPPORT THE RH BILL IN GOOD CONSCIENCE

read here:

UST Varsitarian answers Ateneo Professors Position On RH BIll 5043 – rabid mediocrity

November 27, 2008 45 comments

varsitarian_comUST (university of santo tomas) Varsitarian wrote a piece to answer the Ateneo professors support of RH Bill 5043.

UST Varsitarian’s answer reminds me of those muslim extremist zealots whose rabid reply to anything is everything but sensible, smart and intelligent. its an extreme hype of over-activity thinking that if you include as many curse words, name drop every 5 sentences, sprinkle ad hominems and personal insults, the piece will sound intelligent and convincing.

Dishonest, mediocre, anti-poor

BY ISSUING a statement supporting the population-control bill, Reproductive Health (RH) Bill 5043, the 14 faculty members of the other Catholic university—Ateneo de Manila– betray the canker that may eat into any Catholic institution that, while inherently holy, has tendencies toward evil. Star Wars calls it the Dark Side, St. Thomas Aquinas calls it concupiscence. We simply call it intellectual dishonesty.

Since they teach in a Catholic institution, the 14 should either have the readiness to defend the Catholic position or at least have the sensitivity to refrain from doing something that would divide the Church. But not only do these self-proclaimed Catholic educators break away from the Catholic position and urge Catholics to do so: they twist Catholic teachings to suit their self-serving position.

Their distortions of the Catholic teachings on freedom of conscience and the centrality of the human person are shocking. If these teachers indeed have conscience, as they claim to be practicing in disagreeing with the bishops, it will be what the catechism calls as erroneous conscience. And what centrality of the human person are they talking about when RH bill 5043 seeks to make available contraceptives and abortifacients and pave the way for legalizing abortion by the use of millions of pesos that could otherwise go to direct provisions for maternal health and poverty? Population-control measures like RH bill 5043 look at the poor not as persons but as rabbits whose propagation must be checked. How could the poor have freedom of choice and conscience when the state, backed by hundreds of millions of pesos, compels them to take contraceptives and limit their children to two per couple? Were the Filipino poor neutered by the Marcos dictatorship and the Chinese families forced into complying with the one-child rule by the communists allowed freedoms of information, choice and conscience?

Even more shocking is the academic mediocrity of the professors. Their support for the population-control bill is backed by the intellectual school of doomsday social science, whose methods and claims have been questioned by more cautious, less panic-prone, and more socially responsible schools. A cursory review of the endnotes of their statement would reveal that their review of literature is narrow and shallow. It is as if social science had stopped with Malthus and Ehrlich.

They claim, for instance, that “a close association exists between our country’s chronic poverty and rapid population growth… [thus] curbing out population growth rate is a requisite of sound economic policy and effective poverty reduction strategy,” and that the bill aims to control population growth to arrive at a so-called “healthy” economy.

Their statement should at least belie Rep. Edsel Lagman’s claim that RH bill 5043 is a “healthcare” bill; it is not, it’s a population-control measure that harks back to the days of the dictator Marcos who enshrined family planning in the 1973 Constitution and made it a centerpiece of his “constitutional authoritarianism.”

But going back to the claim of the 14 doomsday pundits that there’s correlation between “chronic poverty” and population growth, it’s astonishing that a claim should be made when most recent literature have shown there’s none. Despite being in the academe, they have missed – or intentionally excluded? – important and authoritative studies on population and poverty that deny any link between the two.

The New York Times, Asiaweek, Far Eastern Economic Review, and Economist have declared overpopulation as among of the greatest hoaxes of the last century. Nobel-winning economists themselves such as Simon Kuznets have denied any negative correlation between population and economic growth. Meanwhile, Amartya Sen and Gary Becker have recommended that funds for birth control would be better used in directly addressing poverty.


But after repeating the tired litany of doomsday population economics, the 14 Horsemen of the Apocalypse just as casually turn to the alleged health benefits of a birth-control program for women, even if not a single one of them has a medical degree or any diploma remotely connected to the health sciences.

But the doctors, nurses and health professionals of UST, Human Life International-Asia, and Pro-Life Philippines know better. Pre- and post-natal care for women has nothing to do with contraceptives and abortion. Medical science can deal with pregnancy complications. If there’s high maternal and infant mortality, it is not because of unwanted pregnancy or pregnancy complications: it is because of the lack of health services. In the same manner, while many Filipinos die of TB and dengue, the public health budgets for combating these diseases are low compared to the tens of millions used for birth control, which basically looks at babies as diseases that need to be checked, contracepted, aborted.

Moreover, it does not follow that readily available contraceptives can improve the health of the people. Health experts say that pills, injectables, abortion suction, menstrual regulation machines, ligation, and vasectomy are in fact risky and could result in injuries, sickness, and even death.

It must be emphasized that “reproductive health” is not maternal health, which is the more embracing, the more medically correct concept to represent the holistic health care of women. RH bill 5043 is not a maternal health measure but a contraceptive measure: it looks at every pregnancy as “unwanted”; it looks at pregnancy as the cause and a compounding of poverty; it tries to check the fertility of women not because of any consideration for women’s health but for purposes of social engineering!


Nor is the bill “pro-youth” for providing sex education to young people, as the 14 Wolf-criers claim. It would merely increase the chances of the youth engaging in the risky and reckless behavior that safe sex engenders.

Admittedly, information is the right of everyone. But could we expect quality and correct information and instruction from a government whose public education system are a shambles and whose health services are a disaster—and information and instruction for young people during their formative years? Moreover, since the paradigm and ideology of the bill itself are suspect, the course content of any instruction it seeks to provide is also suspect.

Leave sex education to the parents. They may not do a good job at it, but that’s all right since the state can’t seem to get anything right at all!

Pro-abortion, anti-life

Ah, but RH bill 5043 insists it promotes contraception to stop abortion. This is a bald-faced lie when one considers that most of the backers and their funders are pro-choice (read: pro-abortion). One of the signatories of the statement, Mary Racelis, claims in one article that “educated Catholics” should support the bill because it would curb abortions. She cites the “473,000” induced abortions allegedly performed in 2000 without even questioning the veracity of the figure. Worse, she cites the World Health Organization estimate that the abortions could have been double that figure—800,000 abortions!–without questioning how the UN body could have made such an extrapolation.

Any social scientist worth his salt or any Filipino with a modicum of education would easily make educated questions about such figures, considering that previous demographic estimates made in the name of birth control and safe sex have been widely off the mark, such as Thomas Malthus’s doomsday scenario in the 19th century of an overpopulated earth in the next century (“a libel inflicted on the human race,” said Karl Marx); Paul Ehrlich’s similar scenario in 1980 at the turn of the 21st century (he lost the wager with Julian Simon 10 years later, remember?); the projection by UN agencies and Philippine public health authorities in the early 1990’s that the Philippines would have some 10,000 HIV-Aids cases in 10 years because of low condom use (the country has only 3,000 now); the claim of gays they easily comprise 10% of the population (a projection exposed as limp); and the fantastic claim of the UN Fund for Population Assistance and the 1994 Cairo Conference that the “costed population package” to implement so-called reproductive health care services in developing countries by 2015 would total $77.7 billion with domestic contributions from the poor countries themselves who are supposedly beneficiaries of such services funding two-thirds of the cost!

Racelis and her fellow Ateneo divination experts should ask whether or not the same alarmist situation conjured by the UNFPA and Cairo is being used by the WHO, UNFPA and backers (or true authors?) of the Lagman bill to justify the initial tab to implement the RH bill—some P1.2 billion!


The 14 themselves belong to an institution that has no apprehensions in getting funding from organizations that promote abortion. Together with the Packard Foundation, which promotes “safe and legal abortion” in other countries, Ateneo has put up the Health Unit—Ateneo Graduate School of Business in Leadership Innovations in Population Management. One wonders how Ateneo’s partnership with an abortion foundation dovetails with its setting up a medical school where students are supposed to make the Hippocratic Oath and uphold Catholic bioethics.

And the Ateneo Institute of Church and Social Studies has published a monograph with articles by social scientists from Ateneo and birth-control demographers from UP and other secular institutes (whose studies are cited by the Ateneo 14) that basically back the Lagman bill. The publication and the discussions were funded by a pro-choice organization.

In all of these cozy and cash-rich sleeping-with-the-enemy arrangements, Ateneo’s jesuitic nature seems to be showing indeed.


In any case, by equating women’s health with birth control, the 14 Grim Reapers betray their enslavement to the population ideology of the UN and its agencies and the population-control industry. They betray at least their academic mediocrity—perhaps ingrained by their arrogance—for not considering very relevant and trenchant studies that question the blurring between development and population funding.

The Ateneo professors should at least stop calling themselves “Catholic educators” or “educated Catholics.” For a truly educated Catholic view on population control, here’s the view of Cecilia Hadley and Maria Sophia Aguirre of the Department of Business and Economics of the Catholic University of America as published in the International Journal of Social Economics (2005 Vol. 32, Issue 9):

“During the last decade increasingly large amounts of money have been spent on limiting population growth of underdeveloped countries. Population control is seen as the corner-stone of development and population activities. Thus, population control has become ‘population assistance,’ and birth control has become ‘reproductive health services.’ Population control is pursued at the expense of women’s rights and to the detriment of real economic growth and social improvement.”


“Rather than helping countries and peoples, the continual focus on population assistance has left them desperate for other forms of aid. This focus has actually infringed upon human rights especially upon many women who do not understand the contraceptives they are being given. The large amounts of funds that developing countries are now exhorted to provide for support population measures drain resources better spent elsewhere on such things as reducing malaria and educating women. In short, ‘population assistance’ has usurped a great deal of the energy and funds of the international community without even empirical justification for such an approach to development issues and has resulted in a neglect for other areas of real need.”

We enjoin Thomasians, Ateneans, and all Catholics to be truly themselves—discerning and critical of issues, always seeking the light amid the darkness foisted on them by shadowy figures that include those who call themselves Catholics, educated, and educators. Let us all fight the grand deception of the population-control complex and reject RH bill 5043.…ocre_anti_poor


more ateneo professors express support for RH Bill 5043

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

more ateneo professors express support

66 Ateneo faculty members support RH bill
10/29/2008 | 03:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Sixty-six faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila University have signed a declaration supporting the passage of the Reproductive Health bill despite warnings by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The declaration, dated October 27, 2008, said the teachers were speaking for themselves and not for the Jesuit university.

“After studying the provisions of House Bill 5043 in light of the realities of Filipino women, poor families, and our youth, we, 66 individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University, speaking for ourselves and not for the university, have come to conclude that the Philippines urgently needs a national policy on reproductive health and population development, as provided by HB 5043,” the declaration read.

The declaration emphasized that the faculty members grappled with their conscience and agreed to support the measure.

“We hope our expression of support can help enrich and broaden the discussions and debates on the issue of reproductive health and population development, by presenting an alternative view supportive of House Bill 5043 coming from Catholic academics and educators,” the teachers said.

“A consistent, integrated, and comprehensive population framework guarantees budgetary support from the national government for reproductive health initiatives, and ensures their sustainability across local government units regardless of changes in national and local leadership. While curbing our rapid population growth rate of 2.04 percent will not, by itself, solve poverty in our country, addressing the population problem is crucial to overall economic growth and poverty reduction, along with asset redistribution, employment and livelihood opportunities, combating corruption, improving governance, and strengthening institutions,” the Ateneo mentors added.

“Those who oppose the RH Bill have denounced it as ‘pro-abortion,’ ‘anti-life,’ ‘anti-women,’ ‘anti-poor,’ and ‘immoral.’ However, our reason, informed by our faith, has led us to believe and say otherwise,” the statement read in reference to the opposition by the hierarchy of the Catholic church in the country.

“The RH Bill is pro-life and pro-women. HB 5043 categorically rejects abortion, which it deems a ‘crime,’ in consonance with the 1987 Constitution. What it, in fact, wants to do is prevent abortions by offering couples an array of ‘medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality’ family planning methods, from which they can choose the one that will work best for them. In so doing, the RH Bill seeks to avert unwanted and mistimed pregnancies, which cause mostly poor and married women despairing over yet another pregnancy to seek an induced abortion. We are alarmed that an estimated 473,400 Filipino women went for an abortion in 2000, and that some 79,000 of them wound up in hospitals for abortion complications. We consider it our guilt and our shame that so many of our women should be driven to such dire straits as to make abortion a family planning method, for want of information on and access to an effective means to prevent an unplanned pregnancy,” the declaration said.

The signatories to the declaration were: Ricardo G. Abad (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Joy G. Aceron (Department of Political Science); Raymond B. Aguas (Department of Theology); Liane Peña Alampay (Department of Psychology); Fernando T. Aldaba (Department of Economics); Raul Socrates C. Banzuela (Program for Development Studies); Remmon E. Barbaza (Department of Philosophy); Germelino M. Bautista (Department of Economics); Edsel L. Beja, Jr. (Department of Economics);

Rofel G. Brion (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies); Ma. Cecilia C. Bulos (Department of Psychology); Liberty L. Chee (Department of Modern Languages); Sharon Ann C. Co (Department of Psychology); Antonio Esteban G. Conejos (Department of English); Manuel D. Cuenca, Jr., M.D. (Department of Psychology); Gary C. Devilles (Kagawaran ng Filipino); Aleta C. Domdom (Department of Economics); Atty. Alexander C. Dy (Ateneo Law School); Manuel B. Dy, Jr. (Department of Philosophy); Elizabeth Uy Eviota (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ana Marie O. Fernandez (Department of English); Joseph H. Francia (Department of Economics); Jamil Paolo S. Francisco (Department of Economics);

Geoffrey A. Guevara (Department of Philosophy); Marita Castro Guevara (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies); Roberto O. Guevara (Department of Theology); Ma. Regina M. Hechanova (Department of Psychology); Anne Marie A. Karaos (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Michael J. Liberatore (Department of Theology); Liza L. Lim (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ma. Emma Concepcion D. Liwag (Department of Psychology); Ada Javellana Loredo (Department of English); Jozon A. Lorenzana (Department of Communication); J. Ma. Arcadio Malbarosa (Department of Philosophy); Pamela Joy M. Mariano (Department of Philosophy); Ma. Isabel Pefianco Martin (Department of English); Marcia Czarina Corazon M. Medina (Department of Sociology-Anthropology);

Ma. Isabel E. Melgar (Department of Psychology); Luisito G. Montalbo (Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health); Cristina Jayme Montiel (Department of Psychology); Aaron Rom O. Moralina (Department of History); Jocelyn M. Mayoralga-Nolasco (Department of Psychology); Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo (Department of Psychology); Glenda C. Oris (Kagawaran ng Filipino); Josephine P. Perez (Department of Psychology); Raul Pertierra (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Caroliza T. Peteros (Program for Development Studies); Alicia T. Pingol (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Emma E. Porio (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Mary Racelis (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ma. Margarita A. Ramos (Department of Psychology);

Mariel Vincent A. Rapisura (Program for Development Studies); Danton Remoto (Department of English); Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez (Department of Philosophy); Alma Maria O. Salvador (Department of Political Science); Atty. Maria Cleofe Gettie C. Sandoval (Leaders for Health Program), and; Joselito T. Sescon (Department of Economics). Anton Luis C. Sevilla (Department of Philosophy); Alma Valerie C. Soriano (Department of English); Sherilyn T. Siy (Department of Psychology); Mary C. Thomas (Department of English); Jose Ma. Edito K. Tirol (Department of History); Philip Arnold P. Tuaño (Department of Economics); Eileen F. Tupaz (Department of Philosophy); John Carlo P. Uy (Department of Philosophy), and; Ma. Eufemia C. Yap, M.D. (Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health). – GMANews.TV…upport-RH-bill

Categories: RH Bill 5043 Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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