CBCP, Palace to launch info drive on family planning

A joint information campaign on family planning is set to be carried out by the Catholic hierarchy and the Aquino administration.

The plan is an offshoot of today’s dialogue between Malacañang and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines on the government’s population policy.

Monsignor Juanito Figura, CBCP secretary general, said the plan would include distribution of information materials on methods of family planning.

“First, we agreed that we would come up with information materials that will provide a well rounded information to our people about the concerns on responsible parenthood and reproductive health,” Figura said during a press briefing at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila where the dialogue was held.

“We also agreed that the government would not use itself as an instrument to enforce or violate the conscience of the people about these issues,” he said.

The CBCP official said the continuing dialogue, the second meeting between the two camps, is just a forum to gather opinions and sentiments of stakeholders.

“This will not influence or be biased to the ongoing legislative process,” he said.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the information to the public is “to the defense of the family planning methods that we would do.”

He said they’ve agreed to form a technical working group (TWG) that would further study and discuss the various means of family planning which include “the study of contraceptives.”

“We would constitute a TWG to discuss what info would be provided for and what would be part and parcel of the info campaign,” Lacierda said.

The Malacañang official said the plan for information campaign would contain various methods of family planning—natural or artificial.

“We believe that full information must be given to the public in order for them to come up with a decision on family planning,” he said.

“There is no question whether or not contraceptives would be included. It will be but full information that would be provided to the public,” stressed Lacierda.

Figura, however, elaborated that such information material would also include “warnings” on its possible effects to the health of the people.

“Information will state whether a particular method does not conform to the teachings of the church and its health risks,” he elaborated.

“When we say full information it will both be the advantages as presented by the makers of the contraceptives and the disadvantages and the risks of taking those contraceptives,” he said. CBCP News

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