The Philippines for the longest time has been torn by two, not necessarily opposing, but somehow different, forces; the church and the state. Though there has been a decree on the inviolable separation of these entities , more often than not, when societal issues confronting the state’s political affairs fall under “moral dilemmas,” the church can not help coming into the scene.
This is the same case happening with the season’s national concern: House Bill 96, otherwise known as the Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population and Development Act .
Banking on the potentials of the said bill to drastically minimize the ballooning population of the country, the Aquino administration openly admitted its all-out support for the bill’s being enacted into law. This could be done, as the bill suggests, through maintaining feedom of informed choice wherein parents, couples and women enjoy the liberty or option of choosing from a menu of modern natural and artificial family planning methods which are medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable and effective.
This caused the moralist groups, headed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, to react violently. They expressed apprehensions that such a bill was by nature promoting looser morals that would eventually lead to a morally-corrupt society. The inculcation of sex education in the academic curriculum is simply unorthodoxical, and as such, is morally unacceptable.
However the bill’s proponents contented that the said bill is not what the moralist pictured it to be. That it is about the government’s wholesome response to reproductive health concerns that for ages have been left unattended, and which were held accountable for the rapid proliferation of the Filipino race and the perennial poverty that goes with it.
The discussion may seen endless as each party stands firm on the ideals it represents. But at the day’s end, it would always be up to the individual couple, the direct recipients of such a bill, to decide for theselves whether or not to adhere to the proposals of whom. It is just hoped that their decision is designed based on how it would serve the union best and the country’s welfare in general.