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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Family planning cleared for class

Manila Standard Today
February 6, 2008
Joel M. Sy Egco
The Quezon City council has unanimously passed on Monday an ordinance allowing public schools to teach the basics of family planning amid the growing number of cases of premarital and unwanted pregnancies.

Majority leader Ariel Inton, in an interview with Standard Today, however, chose to drop the measure’s notorious tag because the approved version was far from the original proposal of Councilor Joseph Juico.

“I refuse to call it as an ordinance on sex education because we have almost completely revised what was originally filed. I can say we have changed the Juico proposal by as much as 90 percent,” Inton said.

“The final measure can be applied only to high school students and above.”

Inton was optimistic the ordinance would be acceptable to the religious sector which was against his colleague’s original proposal of exposing elementary pupils to the subject of human reproduction.

In a circular, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ong-tioco said Juico’s ordinance was “cleverly crafted” to appear as a reproductive health and population management law but actually pushed for the use of abortifacients, branding them as “safe” methods.

“As your shepherd, I admonish you to defend the sanctity of human life and the family that are now in tremendous danger,” Ongtioco said.