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Arroyo firm on natural family planning policy - Ermita

July 16, 2008 11:39pm
MANILA, Philippines - The Arroyo administration remains firm on its policy for natural family planning methods, a commitment that is very much welcomed by Catholic bishops.

"I know that President Arroyo has not changed her policy on natural family planning. That is the official line (of her administration)," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said Wednesday.

This, despite reports that Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperzana Cabral and Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs Joey Salceda consider the current population program is weighing down the development programs of the government.

Catholic bishops, meanwhile, said President Arroyo’s stand on natural family planning is a boost to the Church’s advocacy against the use of contraceptives.

"It is already a big help that she has declared her position on population management," said Caloocan bishop Deogracias Iñiguez Jr, who is also the spokesman of the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

In a statement posted Wednesday evening on the CBCP website, Iñiguez said he is hoping that other lawmakers will follow President Arroyo's lead in supporting the Church's opposition to some public officials' efforts that they said threaten life and the Filipino family.

Four CBCP members led by Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal met with President Arroyo last week to discuss the bills pending in Congress to control population growth.

Iñiguez said President Arroyo's position against artificial means of family planning is appropriate "because she is a Catholic."

For his part, San Fernando, Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto welcomed the President’s commitment towards the natural family planning.

Aniceto, who was also present during last week's meeting, said President Arroyo assured them she would adhere with her current population policy. - GMANews.TV