Thousands Rally in Philippines to Protest Population Control Bill
MANILA, March 7, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com)
- The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines organized a rally March 5,
in Manila and protests across the country to galvanize Catholic opposition to
the proposed population bill. Thousands of youth gathered to protest the
proposed bill that would restrict family size to two children and introduce sex
education to children in schools.
In the recent history of the Philippines, the political effectiveness of mass,
peaceful Catholic protest was illustrated with the fall of the Marcos regime in
1986. Then-Cardinal of Manila, Jaime Sin, organized the huge rallies in which
thousands of Catholics took to the streets and brought about a peaceful change
of government. Participation in the current rallies was not limited to
Catholics. Muslims and members of other Christian denominations were among the
Bill 3773, "Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act," mandates a
rule that restricts families to two children, introduces sex education for
children and the distribution of artificial contraceptives.
The bill, which has already been approved by the House committee on women, is
being strongly defended by the Arroyo government. "Our population policy is
based on responsible parenthood. It is based on respect for life, on informed
choice," Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said. The Bishops’ representative,
however, said the proposal to limit the size of the Filipino family in the guise
of “reproductive rights” is unjust and arbitrary.
Opposition includes the mayor of Manila, Jose "Lito" Atienza Jr., who called it
deceptive. He described the bill as “destructive,” and just an “alibi” for the
failure of the government to genuinely address poverty. A consortium of pro-life
groups said at a press conference that the bill is a violation of the privacy
and autonomy of couples and families. “The bill contains sugar-coated measures
that would only lead the country to irreparable and lasting damage,” the mayor
“If there will be more people working, the country will have more earnings. More
people working is actually the result of higher productivity, but if there is a
small number of people working for a bigger number, then it will result in a
depressed economy,” Councilor Grepor Belgica of District 6, a devout Christian,
In the declassified 1974 document, National Security Study Memorandum 200, the
Philippines was included in the list of countries whose population growth, and
consequent growth in prosperity would threaten U.S. security and overseas
economic interests. The solution recommended was the imposition of radical
population control measures through the United Nations aid programs.
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