DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 May) – Incoming president Rodrigo R. Duterte said he will not enforce a three-child policy but will provide artificial birth control products as a population control measure.
In a press conference here late Monday evening, Duterte however said three children per family is ideal “because our resources cannot meet the demand.”
“Family planning, (I am) re-installing the program, three lang anak and making available itong mga artificial birth controls because for centuries, yung natural cycle… hindi nga ninyo masunod, lalo na ibang tao,” he said.
He said it angers him to see couples who don’t observe family planning and make their children suffer by failing to provide their basic needs.
He recalled his visit to a slum area in the city where he met a couple with 10 children but without a sustainable income to provide for the family’s needs.
“Nag-init yung ulo ko. Nung pumasok ako sa squatters area, namatay ang isang anak, ngayon sampu naman. Ang (father) trabaho barker, walang trabaho ang asawa (mother),” he said.
Duterte said artificial birth control pills would be better than natural family planning because “biology yan eh. It is not something which you can ponder on. This is instinct,” he said.
He said he will not force people to have three children only but is “just suggesting that you are in good hands if you just limit the number of your children.”
He added that parents must be conscious about planning ahead for the family and make sure they can provide well for their children.
He also took a swipe at some leaders of the Catholic church who opposed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, also known as the Reproductive Health Law. (RH Law guarantees universal access to methods on contraception, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care.)
“Buti sana kung magbigay ang simbahan ng honorarium, sabi ko nga kung hindi makatulong ang simbahan, wag na kayo makinig dyan puro kabalastugan ang mga yan,” he said.
Duterte said the church must address the abuses within its ranks before telling others of their mistakes.
Duterte named Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines president Socrates Villegas and Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, who he said campaigned against him.
“Hindi nga ninyo ma-correct ang mga abuses ng mga pari, until now you have not done anything. There are so many abuses that the church has committed. You go down on bended knees, and pray to God and ask pardon from Filipino people.
“The church will criticize immorality, what about you? Why have you not criticized yourselves or even ask pardon from the Filipino,” he said
Asked to comment on the statement issued by Archdiocese of Davao, Duterte said he is not in a quarrel with it.
In a statement, Msgr. Paul A. Cuison, spokesperson of Archdiocese of Davao said: “The Archdiocese of Davao respects and listens with humility to the views and statements of our incoming President Rodrigo R. Duterte about the church, including those that may be difficult to accept and things that may be contrary to our teachings.”
“Even during the pre-elections period, we have always maintained a peaceful relationship with him and our doors are always open to him,” he said.
He noted that they are one in acknowledging the good things Duterte has done for the poor and the marginalized.
“We join him in prayer asking for divine and enlightenment as he begins his journey as the new leader of this land,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)