MANILA, Sept. 1, 2012— Archbishop Jose Palma has delivered a sermon against President Benigno Aquino III’s population control agenda in front of hundreds of Catholic educators.
Palma, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president, said that young people should be recognized as a positive force for economic and social development, not exclusively as a problem to be solved.
The archbishop said he was disappointed upon hearing that Aquino’s solution to poverty and backlogs in education like the lack of classrooms and text books was to control the number of students.
“In education, we give premium to the youth because they are rich… perhaps, at present, not so much economically but given time and in the future certainly they are our best asset,” Palma said.
“That is why I felt sad when the administration would consider it a big problem that we have many students. I thought we believe that they are not a big problem because we see in them the solution,” he said.
The CBCP head made the statement yesterday during a Mass, ending the three-day Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP) Annual Convention at the SMX Center in Pasay City.
Around 1,500 officials of Catholic school from across the country attended the convention where they discussed issues they are facing including the RH bill, K to 12 program and legal concerns affecting private education.
Palma also scored the mandatory sex education provision under the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill, which requires a large-scale government funding on artificial contraceptives.
“We usually say please more God and less sex in the sense of you know… we know how many (people) would like to introduce sex education as early as Grade 4 or whatever. We thought of why not Word of God,” he said.
The archbishop of Cebu also emphasized the purpose of Catholic education which is to evangelize and the formation of the young generation.
“I also would like to underline that it is important to remember that the education we give is not just information but above all, formation. It is in this regard that even doctrines of the Catholic education would tell us that the role of the teachers is indeed important,” added Palma.
“May all schools, as well, help mold people to become truly people of great faith and people who will become assets to the community and saints in the future because we are there to journey with them,” he said. [RL/CBCPNews]