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Speech, religion and equal protection in the RH Law (2)

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In my column last week I said that I would take up the Reproductive Health Law provision on age-appropriate education in public and private schools. I consider the subject very important since the concern of people about it is similar to the concern about religious instruction in public schools. I would not therefore consider it inappropriate for jurisprudence to look into the constitutional law on religious instruction in public schools. Sex education and religious instruction are closely related to morality education.

There are two constitutional provisions which should be considered.

First, Article II, Section 12 says: “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.” This means that in the matter of education, the power of the State is merely auxiliary to the primary right of parents.

Second, Article XIV, Section 4(3) emphasizes even more the primary right of parents: “At the option expressed in writing by the parents or guardians, religion shall be allowed to be taught to their children or wards in public elementary and high schools within the regular class hours by instructors designated or approved by the religious authorities of the religion to which the children or wards belong, without additional cost to the Government.”

Considering that sexual morality is closely related to religion, the rule for religious instruction  mutatis mutandis may analogously if not strictly apply to sexual education.

For the moment, however, all we have about sexual education are the guidelines to be followed by officials in formulating the curriculum. They are the following:

“Section 11.01 Age- and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. The State shall provide age- and development-appropriate responsible parenthood and reproductive health education to adolescents and school-age children which shall be taught by adequately trained teachers and educators in formal and non-formal educational system and integrated in relevant subjects . . . .:

“Provided, That flexibility in the formulation and adoption of appropriate course content, scope and methodology in each educational level or group shall be allowed only after consultations with parents-teachers-community associations, school officials, civil society organizations, and other interest groups.

“The Department of Education (DepEd) shall formulate a curriculum including concepts and messages on reproductive health, which shall be used by public schools. Private schools may adopt the DepEd curriculum or develop their own curriculum subject to approval by DepEd.”

I am confident that those charged with the responsibility of formulating the policies for age-appropriate education will have the integrity and wisdom to respect constitutional commands on education. Before making our judgment, therefore, let us wait. We have no right to presume that the critics of the RH Law are the only persons who have noble intentions about public welfare.

Let me move to the issue of equal protection.

The separate mention and separate provision for private schools in this matter have been criticized as a violation of equal protection. Even first year law students, however, know that equal protection is not an absolute rule. It allows for different treatment based on real differences. And there are substantial differences between public schools and private schools, especially religious schools, enough to allow different treatment of different schools. Jurisprudence has been doing this.

Another equal protection argument that has been brought up is that the state is being guilty of unconstitutional discrimination when it pays so much attention to and is ready to spend an enormous amount of money for reproductive health while not paying as much attention to other health issues. But in promoting the general welfare the state cannot be expected to attend to all problems at the same time. Prudence requires that the state prioritize which battles to fight and when.

I do not know what other major or minor arguments might be brought up by opponents of the RH Law. Whatever other issues may arise, one underlying principle that must be kept in mind is that the current Philippine government is a secular one. It is not governed by the Vatican nor by the Philippine hierarchy nor by the religious majority of our population. Saying that, however, does not mean saying that our government is immoral or amoral. It is merely saying that it is different and that we must recognize and respect differences. 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.”


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  • Fulpol

    reproductive health education….

    what is the age when girls are ready for pregnancy? never mind the boys who will impregnate older women..

    let say, 2nd year high school.. I’m not sure if reproductive system is already taken in elementary under the subject of science..

    well, reproductive system is different from reproductive health.. the former talks about anatomy, the latter talks about function, emotions (psychological) and consequences of sexual actions..

    sexual morality and sexual education.. sexual morality asks, is premarital sex moral? sexual education says, “if you have sex at this early age, you might get pregnant.. morality neutral..”.. the morality neutral sex education says, to avoid pregnancy use contraceptives..

    parents who have strong moral views, “should they allow their kids to get brainwashed by a “morality neutral views” and learn how to get away from the consequences of such views?”

    the gov’t says, this is the curriculum.. and the parents might just be quiet.. that is violation of the moral (religious) views and standing of parents over their “minor children”..

    • Jane Tan

      Well, let’s think about what you said and consider Bong Revilla as an example.

      1) He’s strongly anti-RH.
      2) His 16-year old son got Rosanna Roces’ 15 year old daughter pregnant.
      3) His daughter is pregnant at 18.

      • RyanE

        Great example Jane!

        Fulps, what can you say?

      • Jane Tan

        He’s making excuses. Woot!

      • Fulpol

        I never heard this guy said his piece unlike Sotto… so your arguments holds no weight..

      • marionics

        sure it does

      • Crazy_horse101010

        the sotto who said his son was killed by the pill that didnt come into existence until 3 years later

      • RyanE

        Fulps, a rejoinder to Jane’s comment:

        If the parents don’t got the time or knowledge to teach their children about “sex education”, then it would be better to include it in the school curriculum and being handled by the experts to prevent or minimize such incidents.

      • Fulpol

        your sex education is morality neutral.. you must understand that.. you must understand that a secular gov’t is neutral in terms of religious belief and even morality.. there is a program that pushes contraceptives, encouraging more kids to engage in premarital sex… I said more kids, because it is already a reality that minors already got pregnant like the example of Jane Tan, revilla’s daugther..

      • Jane Tan

        Funny that you’re using an example that you’ve not heard of, and incidentally, know nothing about.

        Slammed again! Best start a new argument and try again =)

      • Jane Tan

        Well, he’s pretty much like Sotto, TV personality turned politician, claiming that he and his wife lost a child due to contraceptives.

        Your ignorance doesn’t make my argument weightless, especially since Google is available to everyone with Internet =p

        No applause for the crappy attempt to salvage your argument considering I like some of the stuff you say and I’m abit disappointed with this one =))))

      • Fulpol

        I find your argument against my comment not intelligent.. sorry to say that.. I won’t go further from my first reply to you…

      • Jane Tan

        Slammed! =D

        Oh yeah! Fulpol has no comeback argument + Fulpol is making lame-ass excuses. Achievement x 2.

      • Tommy

        You actually LIKE some of the stuff he says?

        Why?

      • Jane Tan

        I don’t know… because of how snide and elitist he sounds, making it that much more satisfying when I slam his arguments =D

      • Tommy

        Fair enough, though I dunno, it’s just too easy to rip apart his arguments sometimes.

      • Crazy_horse101010

        good one

      • Nanette Caspillo

        Ad hominem – logical fallacy

    • marionics

      delete

    • Tommy

      So essentially, you want children to remain ignorant about how their bodies work.

      • Fulpol

        there is science subject about reproductive system..

      • Jane Tan

        Which apparently didn’t do anything for Bong Revilla and his children =)

      • Fulpol

        your reply to my comment is not intelligent Jane Tan… you looks so ridiculous..

      • Jane Tan

        You can’t expect me to make an intelligent reply when yours wasn’t any better =)

      • panhase

        Hahahaha

      • Tommy

        Which generally doesn’t actually cover how human mating works, or covers it a few years late.

  • virgoyap

    “Whatever other issues may arise, one underlying principle that must be
    kept in mind is that the current Philippine government is a secular one.
    It is not governed by the Vatican nor by the Philippine hierarchy nor
    by the religious majority of our population.”

    Anti-RH please take note to this very important point cited by Fr. Joaquin Bernas.

  • cross my heart

    A FISH ROTS FROM THE HEAD DOWN

    “Since the law does not yet create the program itself, this is not yet the time to
    challenge this aspect of the RH Law. Wait until the program is formulated.” –
    Bernas

    “Must I wait, now that they are silent…” – Job 32:15

    “If you know that [a] thing is unrighteous, then use all dispatch in putting an end
    to it – why wait…” – Mencius, 372-289 B.C.

    Why wait indeed for the whole “thing” to come of its hole? I can see its ugly head.
    I can read the mark on its forehead: POPULATION CONTROL. I don’t need to see
    its body. I can imagine it. I can see the aftermath left by its noxious tentacles in other holes it crept from.

    Holes Singapore and Russia – these countries have since cursed this “thing” and
    reversed their course, their aging population and vanishing workforce serving as grim reminders of their blunder.

    Hole UK – extremely explicit nature of this “thing” was unmasked being pushed on school children as young as five-years-olds. This “thing” teaches youngsters about oral and anal sex, prostitution, masturbation, “straight and gay,” and explicit depictions and descriptions of sexual intercourse.

    Hole Germany – a mother of twelve has been sentenced to 43 days in jail for refusing to enroll her children in this “thing” in a local elementary school because she opposed this “thing” based on her religious conviction.

    The thought on this “thing” makes my teeth chatter to imagine what’s inside those other holes. The Turks have this homely proverb:

    “The fish stinks first at the head.”

    • mad_as_Hamlet

      * * * * * * * *
      Like most anti-RH Law rants, that saying is unscientific and a mere factoid.
      All organisms with digestive organs will stink and decay, when they die, starting at said organs. Thus, a dead fish stinks first at its entrails.

      On the other hand, if meant metaphorically, facts can be adduced to prove that that saying can perfectly apply to and be directed at the Vatican.
      And the CBCP, domestically speaking.
      – – -

      • marionics

        yup, and that’s not even the meaning of the quote he he

      • mad_as_Hamlet

        * * * * * * * *
        The mystery is, some Anti-RH Law commenters stink.
        Even when headless. Dead or alive.
        LOL!
        – – -

    • marionics

      he he

      wow

      that’s a huge pile

      what a load

      he he

    • artz555

      1. ) PH has waited for 20 years or so for an effective RH law. In the mean time the PH population in the last 35 years or so, has tripled from 35 million people to about 100 million people today, which has been blamed mainly to the PH Catholic Church which objects to methods of family planning other than the natural method. The aftermath has produced a country which , although is growing fast in GDP, has the number of hungry and poor remaining or growing at around 30 % of the population, or almost 1/3 of the population.

      2. ) You can call it ‘population control’ or any other name, but the industrialized countries of the world had used balanced population growths, which is one of the open secrets of why they are now rich and prosperous today. Singapore, Russia, UK and Germany didn’t have a strong Catholic Church (or CBCP) like PH, that interfered in the affairs of the state. And after attaining current high per capita GDP or income, as a result of low populations, they can now slowly increase there populations again. The opposite could be difficult for PH, especially if the church and other forces in PH continue to block the RH law implementation. This is of course compounded by the continuing corruption in the PH government as evidenced by the so called,10 billion pesos pork barrel scam.

      3. ) The representatives of the strong Catholic church in PH ( an unfortunate legacy of 350 years of Spanish colonization which used the sword and religion to keep its colonial rule ), specifically the CBCP.has admitted lately, that they are not economic planners or experts, and/or country development strategists, but has studied and spread Christ and his religion, and of course, are experts in man’s spiritual rebirth and upliftment in preparation for the after-life. The PH clergy who has lived and/or traveled abroad should have noticed the stark differences between the CBCP and the rest of the world’s religious leaderships. Hence, the PH church should stick to it’s well known spiritual expertise ( and follow Christ who said, ‘ Give to Caesar what Caesar is due, and give to God what Gad is due ‘ ) and minimize their strong interferences in the affairs of the state, like the other good and responsible religions of the world.

      • cross my heart

        Hi Artz555!

        Population is a boon, not a bane, when Pinoys are properly trained. HSBC, in its study, counts the Philippines as one of the promising economies in the world due to, among others – surprise, surprise – POPULATION.

        RH unjustly blames the poor for the economic woes of our country. Kawawa’t aping-api na talaga sila. They become poor due to years of neglect, indifference, apathy, and as you conceded, compounded
        by the continuing corruption in the PH government as evidenced by the so called 10 billion pesos pork barrel scam.

        Population is not the cause of poverty – it is poor governance, government corruption, lack of employment opportunities, poor education and lack of training.

        As to CBCP, The Catechism of the Catholic Church is very clear.

        “The bishops exercise…by ruling well their own Churches as portions of the Universal Church…extend it especially to the poor, to those persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working throughout the world.”

        Please pore over the pronouncements of Pope Francis – they pertain not only to the salve of spiritual expertise, but to the provision by the Church for the total needs of the poor.

      • Jane Tan

        Ah yes… a boon, you should tell that to 5-10 children that most poor families cannot hope to feed.

        “Anak, boon ka, pero kailangan mo maglimos para makakain tayo mamayang gabi.”

      • cross my heart

        Hi Jane!

        You sound so genuine. I have an idea. Let us spearhead a special movement in the Philippines like what Bill Gates has been doing lately. Let me give you some background.

        “Gates is not only known for his money, but also for his large-scale charitable work. Gates has donated nearly 40 percent of his fortune to the private foundation he runs with his wife Melinda, and he is the co-founder, alongside with Warren Buffett, of the Giving Pledge, a worldwide campaign that invites millionaires to donate at least half of their wealth to charity or philanthropic activities.

        “Like Buffet, Gates has rallied North America’s rich to give back to society, serving as an example through his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Thus far, 105 millionaires have signed the pledge.” – ABC News

        Imagine the transformation of our poor if the 50 richest Pinoys with a combined wealth of $65.8 Billion (Jane, dollar sign followed with 9 zeros yan), will only follow the example of Bill Gates. Let’s call this movement “Giving Pledge Philippines.” Ok ka?

        Then, you can say, “Anak, boon na boon ka, wala ka nang problema.”

      • Jane Tan

        Sorry to say, cross my heart, that I do not support the idea of creating more communist-minded Filipinos who believe that they can keep on procreating and there will be people who will give them hand-outs. I’d rather my taxes go to the government, and ultimately, to the Reproductive Health Bill than to the government and I’ll still have to give money to beggars.

      • cross my heart

        Jane, you don’t believe in Love? Cheerful giving? Generosity? Heaven?

      • Jane Tan

        I believe in it. I may forgive a poor family who is down on their luck with 1-2 children. But, a family with 3-10 children is pushing it.

        I believe that Heaven won’t let you in if you have 10 children you can’t support that end up dying.

      • cross my heart

        Okay, so you believe in Love. Good.

        I believe also (hope you do) that it is that kind of Love that will make me give half of my wealth to the poor, unconditionally, without expecting something in return. (At this point I will say it’s an inspired Love from Somewhere. I use Somewhere coz I am not sure about your personal belief. The fact is: it’s not human love. Kasi ang hirap gawin. This is from the “giver” perspective.

        Now here’s from “receiver” perspective as you illustrated. “Please don’t give anything to me as handouts. Please don’t create in me a Communist-minded Pinoy.”

        Nagmamahal lang naman yong tao. May disconnect, hindi ba?

      • Jane Tan

        I was once that naive, a few years back when I was anti-RH. A few years later, I noticed that nothing has changed. In fact, the general mentality of the lower class has gotten worse.

        Maybe this is partly due to many surveys that showed that more than half of the population was content with life, considering that only 5-10% were super rich and crime soared. That says alot. Do you feel any sort of love for the type of person who only complains about the unequal distribution of wealth but is just a “tambay” by day and a thief by night?

        Maybe its also partly due to squatters living off the honest Filipino’s taxes while breaking the law, without feeling any ounce of shame. Do you feel any sort of love for them knowing that they are knowingly making life harder for the honest workers of society without even caring?

        You can also attribute it to the unending corruption, which will never end as long as this communist mentality of depending on hand-outs stops.

        I could go on. IMO If you really love our country, you’d want to see it do better. Unless you’d care to see a growing number of people resorting to crime because its so much easier and there’s no tax, or squatting to receive a house, etc?

      • cross my heart

        Jane, let me ask you “offensive” questions. Okay? Do you believe in God? In life after death? In Heaven? In Hell?

      • Gerry los banos

        Hehe, you’re obviously incapable of providing logical, fact-based rebuttals to the points Jane has raised, so you pull out the “faith” card, which, ultimately, is the only argument the Anti-RH mob holds. Yes, yes, you’ll insist that’s the only card you need. But it simply does not hold any value in a secular democratic society which is what we have here in the Philippines.

      • Jane Tan

        Why do you think the Church has no problems with irresponsible parenthood? Because it creates more poverty, and when people are faced with hardship and have nowhere to go, they turn to God for comfort or a life of crime and God for forgiveness.

      • cross my heart

        Hi Gerry!

        You’re still inside the box.

      • Gerry los banos

        Can’t think of an intelligent reply, eh? Figures.

      • cross my heart

        Hi Gerry!

        When you cut in, Jane and I were already in the midst of breaking ground on a much larger subject than just the RH.

        Get mo? God bless!

      • Jane Tan

        Lol. Those aren’t offensive questions. More like vague topics. Before I answer any of those questions, let me ask you this – If I oppose the RH Bill and I give my money to the poor, can you swear on the lives of everyone you hold dear that I am guaranteed 100% passage to Heaven? If yes, what proof do you have?

      • cross my heart

        Jane, the answer is in your heart (:. Now to my “vague” questions please (:

      • Jane Tan

        If you won’t dignify a logical question with an answer, like all other anti-RH, then I refer your vague question to the same – the answer is in my heart and I seriously doubt your faith =)

        Its easy to offer something intangible and unproven because you have nothing to lose. If I were to make a bet with you – if God appears to me, I will give you P1 million and if He doesn’t, you give me P1 million. Are you willing to take that bet? If not and/or you can’t give a yes/no answer, I seriously doubt your faith.
        *No offense to believers, just making a point.

        FYI – I don’t just comfort those in need and give them a one-time hand-out, I bring jobs to baranggays in Manila and the facts I mentioned in my previous comment (content, squatters, corruption, communist, large families, etc) are all derived from actual experience in visiting all these baranggays. I applaud the people who want to uplift their situation through honest means but I still see more of the other.

      • cross my heart

        Jane, since my last comment I have been taking my time pondering to change the subject to avoid responding to your latest comments.

        Remember my adjective “offensive?” Your lol took me by surprise. But that word really I intended to lay the groundwork (after you would have answered my “vague” questions) in sharing with you some spiritual truth pertinent to our ongoing discussion.

        But, here’s the rub – the truth may sting. Hence, the reason I wanted to know your answers to my “vague” questions. Lest it may not only sting, it can offend. Now it becomes very clear why I used the word “offensive.”

        Here’s my dilemma: How ready are you to hear and the two of us to deal with such spiritual truth?

      • Jane Tan

        *Sidenote, I’ll just abbreviate your alias so it will seem like a name and is much easier to refer to.

        CMH*, to be more precise, you are dodging my questions which is already a clear indicator that I’ve hit the bullseye. You speak so strongly of faith yet you do not practice what you preach. If you had given me straight answers, I would have given you straight answers, even to questions with vague topics, considering my question was simply a test of the faith that you have been preaching.

        My dear, if I was scared of the truth, I wouldn’t be commenting here. Go ahead. Preach the “truth”.

      • cross my heart

        Jane, heto na. Hindi na ako magpaliguy-ligoy pa.

        If your answer to my “offensive” questions in your heart (: is Yes, then, the spiritual truth I’ll share with you is meaningful. Otherwise, if No, then, it’s meaningless.

        Good News. Bad News tayo.

        First the Good News. I have a stack of daily devotionals I read each day. Yesterday, a rare phenomenon occurred. The inspired reflection and the Bible verses I read in one particular devotional caught my eye – its essence chimed in with the substance of our discussion that very day.

        In the book, “The Road Less Travelled,” the author M. Scott Peck, M.D. presented and expounded such phenomenon in a chapter entitled “The Miracle of Serendipity.” In the Catholic Church tradition, that is referred to as “Epiphany.” The worldlings would only consider such phenomenon as mere “coincidence.”

        In other words, the spiritual truth I will share with you is NOT MINE. I am only an instrument. It comes from GOD.

        The rest, abangan bukas (:

      • cross my heart

        Jane, nag-sidenote ka, mag-adlib muna ako – on Serendipity. (:

        It was during the 80s that Pinoys ultimately got off their aching chests (EDSA people power) the gross weight of wholesale discontent (sobra na, tama na). Years of neglect, indifference and apathy brought about poverty to a large chunk of the population due to poor governance, government corruption, lack of employment opportunities and poor education.

        Wonder of wonders, in the same breath, it was during that same period that changes in the global economy suddenly increased the demand for skilled Pinoy workers in many parts of Middle East, Asia and Western Europe.

        A passing strange confluence of the above two striking events entailed the occurrence of a rare national phenomenon – the failure of the government to mitigate the hand-to-mouth existence of its people was equalized by the success of global capitalism in absorbing the excess population (OFW human power) caused by such failure. While one door closes, another opens. As they say, the rest is history.

        The “EDSA people power” being led by the Church and the “OFW human power” taking after the Biblical “diaspora” can be jointly said as divinely-inspired. Mahal tayong mga Pinoys ng Diyos (:

        We may call the phenomenon – “Global Pinoy Serendipity”

        Abangan in my next post the “Bad News,” er, let me rectify myself by instead saying a gentler term “Not-So-Good-News.”

      • cross my heart

        Jane, I mustered the courage to post the items below as you dared: “Go ahead. Preach the ‘truth’.”

        Here’s that particular day’s context of our discussion based on your perspective below:

        ><

        Jane, that's all. You may post your reaction.

      • Jane Tan

        Uhm…. get to the point?

      • Tommy

        Oy vey, this again?

        A high population can be a fantastic thing for an economy, IF that population is productive. For them to be productive you would need them to generally be educated and employed. If they aren’t, as many of our poor country men are not, they are essentially bad for the economy.

        Why? Because contributing very little to taxes and measures such as GDP, poor and unemployed tend to take up government resources (the recent squatter relocation, for instance), and tend to contribute to increases in crime and general bad externalities. I’m not saying that if you’re poor you’re a criminal, but studies generally show a correlation between high levels of poverty and crime.

        So IF all of our poor were trained workers who can contribute to the economy, then great. But most are not.

        The RH bill helps families on a microeconomic level. More effective family planning means poor families can plan how many children they want, and stick to those numbers. With the presumably fewer children, they can better spend their resources, which ideally leads to more kids finishing school and breaking the poverty cycle.

        Before anyone cries ‘anti-poor’, it should be noted that richer families already essentially have access to that superior family planning via education and being able to afford condoms. This simply extends the poor more options.

        Essentially, the economic argument in favor of the RH Bill is overwhelming.

      • cross my heart

        Hi Tommy!

        RH is superfluous and unnecessary.

        Its best features the provision of pre-natal services to women especially the poor – are already enshrined in existing laws, the most notable of which is the Magna Carta for women. Being a mere surplusage, RH serves no other purpose than to create another potential source of corruption. PDI reported Philippines lose P1.92 Billion to corruption per year.

        That will be economically disastrous.

      • Tommy

        Current services are clearly inadequate.

        That said, given that the only argument you are presenting is that it would be redundant, does that mean that you have no other, moral objections to the bill?

      • cross my heart

        Plenty. I won’t discuss them anymore in details.

        1. Stripped to its bare essentials, RH is really a population control measure.

        2. In targeting the poor, RH impliedly blamed this marginalized sector for the economic woes of the country.

        3. RH impinges on people’s constitutional rights.

        4. RH avowed adherence to freedom of choice is misleading.

        5. Much of what RH seeks to do is based on the implied premise that pregnancy is a disease, which is why scarce resources of government are to be used to prevent it.

        6. RH distorts the constitutional order of rights by equating the reproductive rights with the traditional rights found in the Constitution.

        7. RH promotes a warped sense of priorities.

        8. Some RH amendments are just lip-service.

        9. Finally the RH is superfluous and unnecessary.

      • Tommy

        1. It isn’t, really. Population control will be a side effect, but it certainly isn’t the main point. The sex ed classes will likely teach something along the lines of ‘make sure you can afford to support and educate the number of kids you chose to have’, which I don’t think anyone would object to.

        2. It’s targeting the poor because everyone else already has access to these things. The poor clearly do not. And the idea that it’s somehow blaming the poor for the economic woes of the country is ridiculous: it’s a measure to reduce poverty, why would you not target that measure at the poor?

        3. That’s for the courts to decide, and so far that argument is looking exceedingly weak. The only valid argument I see is the conscientious objector bit, and that is spurious at best.

        4. That’s the baseless accusation. It is, however, baseless.

        5. No, the RH bill’s main premise is that reproductive health should be a universal right. Pregnancy is a part of life that people should bloody be aware of, and be able to manage. Nothing in that is objectionable.

        6. Healthcare is a ‘traditional right’. Reproductive health is a part of healthcare. So nope.

        7. In YOUR opinion. In most people’s eyes, it’s quite alright.

        8. No, they were more in response to lies floated by the likes of the CBCP.

        9. Yes, because the current state of affairs, where thousands of Filipino mothers die every month for lack of healthcare, and poor families either too ignorant or too poor to practice family planning end up exacerbating an already stretched public sector by having gigantic families they cannot support.

        See, I somehow doubt you know much about the RH Bill. Tell me, other than the contraceptives and sex ed, what else does it mandate, and why are you opposing that?

      • cross my heart

        Hi Tommy!

        I said mine. You said yours. The Court decides. So, let’s move on with our respective lives. God bless!

      • artz555

        Hi ‘ cross my heart ‘

        1. ) Unplanned population growth beginning with the family is not the answer to the steady if not growing hunger and poverty in PH. HSBC, a British company,has vested interests in a growing customer base which meets their global business interests.

        2. ) The relationships among a country’s nominal GDP, population, and the per capita GDP (which is reflective of a countries standard of living ) is very clear. Singapore, with GDP of only $ 360 billion and about 5 million population has $ 49,000 per capita GDP. Malaysia, with GDP of $ 630 billion and population of only 28 million people has a $ 16,300 GDP per capita, Thailand, with $ 550 billion and population of 67 million people has a $ 9,500 per capita GDP, and PH, with $ 450 billion GDP and about 100 million population has $ 4,500 GDP per capita. Hence, the bigger the GDP pie and the lesser the number of people sharing the big pie, the bigger share of the pie per person,—-or simply put, higher per capita GDP and therefore higher standards of living.

        3. ) Yes, the Church has a noble objective of helping the poor. But the Church won’t be helping the poor if the Church do not allow the poor to properly plan their family size, successfully. The RH law is aimed at the poor who cannot afford to finance their own family planning ( and not the rich who can afford their own family planning programs ). And the poor are helpless in raising big families, without family planning, which then becomes a bigger problem for the state in providing food, education, housing, jobs etc. for these poor families.. Simply put, a poor family which has 2 to 3 children now, but can hardly feed these children adequately, cannot afford to add 3 to 5 more mouths or children to the family.

        4. ) The advent of advanced science and computer technology has made the work forces around the world very productive. Competitive companies around the world are and using less people who are very productive using advanced science computer technology. It’s time PH maintain a balanced population growth in order to reduce unemployment and under-employment, and educate a highly skilled smaller population that can compete with rest of the world.

  • Nanette Caspillo

    The 10 major diseases that cause morbidity in the Philippines don’t include those that are sex-related (cf. http://www.doh.gov.ph/kp/statistics/morbidity.html). So prudence tells the State to prioritize the former and not the latter. Prudence also tells that the system of mass education in the Philippines doesn’t need another subject matter to teach due to lack of resources (we know how 99% of the Filipinos are literate but when it comes to depth, there’s only 1%). More than anything, sex-related problems are not solved by teaching the students to do contraception but through education in emotions and character. Lastly, it doesn’t help to quote a Church document if the point is to exclude the Church in the argumentation. In effect, one doesn’t need to do law for one to be prudent.

  • http://www.yahoo.com JOSE RIZAL

    RH Law is more of a funding rather than what it purports to be (of moral or health reasons)…funding condoms and contraceptives…
    Morality? What the heck are you talking about?
    It can be likened to a PORK Barrel, a lot of good intentions or wisdom on the reasons of its existence, yet, it’s all about funding and the siphoning of funds…
    Yet another “Forest for the Trees” from Mr. Bernas.

    • Tommy

      Some of us think that helping poor families escape the poverty trap is a moral thing.

      And given that the vast majority of the bill’s funding goes to things like improving maternal healthcare (midwives, rural health facilities, etc.), pretending this WON’T help improve Philippine healthcare is ridiculous.

    • Jane Tan

      Lol… I rather see the irresponsible masses receive Reproductive Health than actual cash from the CCT, cash that they can use on just about anything from lotto scratchers to cigarettes to drugs, etc.

  • Ganymede

    The Supreme Court should invite Fr. Bernas in the oral arguments!

    • Jane Tan

      They should invite Mang Teban and ARIKUTIK. Their anti-RH arguments would definitely clinch the win for the RH side =)))))

      • Tommy

        Oh yes please!

        Sama niyo na sina fulpol at isidro valencia. Guaranteed comedy!



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