MANILA, May 12, 2014— President Benigno Aquino III has declared May 12 to 18 as National Family and Marriage Week, to emphasize the sanctity of family life.
In declaring the special week, Aquino cited the constitutional provisions that the State shall protect and strengthen marriage and the family as the basic unit of society.
“There is a need to promote nationwide awareness that marriage is the natural institution for the transmission of life wherein different generations come together in harmony for the development and well-being of society,” the proclamation read.
The occasion coincides with the Asian Conference on the Family being held in Manila on May 13 to 16, 2014 under the auspices of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Family and Life.
The conference will gather delegates from Asia to discuss how the Charter on the Rights of the Family, which was promulgated by Saint John Paul II in 1983, has been received and lived, understood and promoted after three decades.
Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family, will deliver three keynote addresses during the 4-day conference: the first to educators and catechists at Paco Catholic School auditorium tomorrow morning (May 13); a second one in the evening to legislators and politicians in a dinner at Diamond Hotel and the last one will be on May 14.
The conference proper on Family and Life begins on May 14 at 2 p.m. at the Pius XII Catholic Center auditorium where Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, will deliver the welcome address.
Two major talks and discussions will be held on May 15: Keynote address by Bishop Laffitte at 8:30 a.m.; The Implementation of the Charter of the Rights of the Family vis-à-vis the UN and Asian Setting (Philippines) by Atty. Luisito Liban; The Defense of the Rights of the Family Against the Contemporary Totalitarian Tendencies of the State by Fr. Shenan Boquetl, president of Human Life International; Lessons and Successes in Harmonizing Legislation and Culture with the Gospel by delegates from Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and other Asian countries; Transmission of Faith through Communities of Families by Francisco and Geraldine Padilla with testimonies by typhoon ‘Yolanda‘ survivors, Msgr. Bernardo Pantin and Dr. and Mrs. Ernesto Lajara, and Indian missionaries to Africa Tony and Maria Correia.
A Festival of Families for about 5,000 will cap the conference on May 16 at 6 p.m. at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the University of Santo Tomas. (CBCPNews)