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Ma. Kristine Camille R.

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Council of Churches pushes passage of RH bill

By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) Updated December 06, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (218) MANILA, Philippines - A group of religious organizations has urged lawmakers to speed up the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill into law. Rev. Rex Reyes Jr., secretary-general of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), said the bill is not just about the use of contraceptives but also the promotion of responsible parenthood. We should also look at the other (contents) or what is not being said in the RH bill. Its not just about contraceptives. Its basically about responsible parenthood and the responsibility of the State to see to it that all its citizens are given the benefit and the opportunity to lead decent lives as Filipinos, Reyes said. The NCCP is the largest group of non-Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines. Among its member-churches are the Apostolic Catholic Church, Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches, Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Iglesia Evangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas, Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Iglesia Unida Ekyumenical, Lutheran Church in the Philippines, the Salvation Army, the United Methodist Church, and the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. As a Council we support the spirit of RH bill mainly because it talks about responsible family and giving the right to couples to determine how to plan their family. We have no problem with the spirit of the RH bill. We totally agree with it, Reyes said. He said its about time that the RH bill is passed so the Philippines will not be left behind by other countries. In many parts of the world they already have that. Its not something, as if, its new in the Philippines, the NCCP official said. But I dont believe that overpopulation is the problem. Of course its a concern that we must address but its not just that, we also need to address the proper and just sharing of our resources here in the Philippines because we are rich yet many are poor, he added. Catholic Church leaders labeled the RH bill as anti-life, saying that it indirectly promotes abortion through the use of artificial contraceptives. Meanwhile, Lipa, Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles yesterday urged Marian devotees to lead the fight against the RH bill. To be faithful to Mary is to oppose those policies that are against the law of God, said Arguelles, vice chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.