QUEZON City, April 17, 2015—The head of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) has cried foul over the way the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) allegedly forces poor Filipinos, particularly beneficiaries of its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program, to use contraceptives, calling such acts “unacceptable.”
“Assuming the allegation is true, then they need to do some explaining. The RH [Reproductive Health] Law states clearly that couples cannot be compelled to use contraceptives,” said PCUP Chair Hernani Panganiban in a Radio Veritas report.
He explained that in its approved version of the law, the Supreme Court (SC) ruled that couples are free to pursue the method of family planning they prefer.
“Now, if DSWD sees in CCT a means by which it can promote contraceptives, then that’s when the trouble begins. No matter where you look at it, whether you’re pro-RH or anti-Rh, it’s unacceptable,” he added.
Panganiban further stressed that the government cannot deprive couples of their right to plan their families, and the way they intend to do this.
Meanwhile, a local coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups remain steadfast in its appeal for government compliance with the SC’s decision on RH.
“While in many instances we disagreed with the way this law was impressed upon the people as legally legitimate, though morally infirm, socially damaging, and fundamentally risky to vulnerable individuals, we respected the inevitable,” Pro-Life Philippines shared.
Sanctity of conjugal act, life
The Catholic Church maintains that Natural Family Planning (NFP) Method is the only morally acceptable way couples can responsibly determine the size of the family they desire.
In the 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae” (“Of Human Life”), then Pope Paul VI reinforced the Church’s longstanding opposition to artificial contraception, teaching that life, as well as the procreative and unitive nature of conjugal relations, is sacred.
The controversial document reads in part: “Love is total — that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.” (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News with reports from Reyn Letran)