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Prelate welcomes 'end' of UN pill fund

Archbishop tells president not to spend taxpayers money on birth control

'Pro-life' activists hold a protest in Manila 'Pro-life' activists hold a protest in Manila
  • ucanews.com reporters, Manila
  • Philippines
  • September 2, 2011
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A senior Church official today welcomed reports that the United Nations is to stop funding the country's birth control program.

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, vice-chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, said the UN decision, if true, was "very good news."

"I am very happy because the money only goes to corruption," the prelate said. He said the fund could have been used for other important projects.

A legislator on Wednesday announced the UN intends to stop its $1 million birth-control aid program to the Philippines next year due to a lack of funding from member states.

Janette Garin vice-chairman of the House of Representatives’ health committee and a birth control advocate, said that in the past the fund was used to buy injectable drugs to prevent pregnancy and birth control pills.

Without the UN fund the Philippines will see an increase in its population growth rate, which has been pegged at 2.4 percent per year, she said.

Retired Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal of Cebu, however, said the report may just be propaganda to railroad the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill through Congress.

He called on Catholics to remain vigilant in the fight against the bill.

"We have to be careful. We have to continue our fight," he said.

Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani of Novaliches said the reported UN decision was a sign that the campaign to promote contraceptives in the country is weakening.

Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel appealed to the government not to use public funds to buy contraceptives.

"To our legislators, don’t rely on foreign aid especially regarding condoms. You should behave. We have to repent," he said.

"I think it’s about time that you should reflect that God is very unhappy with us because we do not obey Him," the prelate said.

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