By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda,Jr. [BicolToday.com]
This is an issue which everyone should be concerned. It has cascading effects to our meagre resources as a nation for what we have are millions of people and what we lack are the necessary tools to harness our material and natural resources to at least have a balance formula for development.
The issue is divisive, the church has its own agenda, the palace has its own opposing the methods, they really don’t see eye to eye. Small watchers are disheartened why it cannot be resolve as a win and win solution for all stakeholders.
The issue is attached to poverty, more and more Filipinos are below poverty line and majority of marginal Filipinos supports the necessity of family planning and resolved that the government should provide options to families to take an alternate approach in family planning.
The Church, sees the reproductive health bill in the context of religious teaching of pro-life sidetracking the issue of poverty as adjunct to the burgeoning population.
The RH formula includes both natural and artificial family planning method contrary to the apprehension of the catholic Church, but, was seen as an affront to the sensibilities of doctrinal teachings. There it has a loggerhead of counter-claims for both camps.
For the church, the bone of contention are their social teachings, it must be a sustainable development to end poverty. This was explicit when they sponsored the National Rural Congress emphasizing that “our farmers must do the speaking by themselves, the discerning, the proposing of their own ideas, and the planning of how we must as a people come together to work for the common good of the country.”
With this statement, a statement which stands until now, put a cap on how the government should view sustainable development. The backers of the reproductive health like to put the issue on public debates and forums hoping that the social teachings of the church is seen as relevant on certain issues but not with the virtue of the propose measure.
Silently they argue that the church is not doing much to address poverty, though social teaching is a tool, but it is grinding to a halt in terms of real gains for the people. That certain church program is reasoned as developmental but can be seen as a cast in a dye style for it carries a monetary interest.
The church and the laity countered that the government is so inept in handling development programs since most of it are but a by-product of a restraint budget, stressing that their ecclesial communities are better to do the task of rural development than government planners and workers.
As the hierarchy of the catholic faith continue discarding the reproductive health bill, both houses of Congress are set to open debates on the controversy surrounding the reproductive health bill as a measure to expand coverage of health services and population control.
While waiting the simmering of the issue, the populace will contend to hear an endless litany of sins and omission of both camps. Now languishing is the profile of poverty and how to address it for all is in the know that it carries a heavy load to public governance and it is primary responsibility in the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
Consequently, the tic-tac-toe spreads like wildfire, both mustered their army of faithful to support their agenda, the church with their pastoral letter and the influential catholic bishops, its radio side by side with their diocesan social action centers at the forefront, while the government is covered by the tri-media aside from the non-government network it established to counter negative issues about the measure.
The delay however in the final version of the bill put to test the dialog of two separate states, and has taken a toll in public governance that even the catholic hierarchy is not at all happy for both are serving the interest of the people, though so different in style and application. BicolToday.com