Palace asks pro-life groups to keep an open mind on family planning

Malacañan has called on the various sectors of society opposing the Executive Order on family planning to keep a broader and a more open mind on government efforts to push for responsible parenthood.

In a radio interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday, January 14, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella called on those who oppose Executive Order No. 12 to be more open minded about the government’s efforts to ensure that parents can provide for their children through family planning methods.

Executive Order No. 12 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on January 9, 2017 “to intensify and accelerate the implementation of critical actions necessary to attain “zero unmet need for modern family planning” for all poor households by 2018, and all Filipinos thereafter, within the context of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law and its implementing rules.”

However, the EO is being opposed by pro-life groups.

“Ang panawagan po natin sa kanila is to have a broader and a more open mind, hindi lang po basta coming from ideology. Kailangan po siguro na mag-evolve rin ang pagiisip ng certain sectors in society… na maging mas bukas sila at maintindihan nila ang kalagayan ng tao,” Abella said.

“We need to be able to be more responsible even with our faith. Kailangang mapakain din natin ‘yung pamilya natin, di ba,” he said.

Abella meanwhile welcomed the United Nations Population Fund’s recognition of the signing of EO No. 12 as a major push for the country’s family planning programs.

He said that though President Duterte made an unpopular decision among some groups, he has the future of the Filipinos in mind.

“We have to appreciate the President dahilan sa kahit na hindi po popular with certain sectors ‘yung galaw tungkol sa reproductive health ay itinutulak po niya dahil po ang pananaw ng Presidente is not just to serve the interest of a small group but to serve the interest of the whole nation,” Abella said.

“Unang-una, alam po natin, nilalabanan ng Presidente ang poverty. Hindi lang basta anti-poverty, but he also wants to have inclusive prosperity, na ang lahat po umunlad and kasama na po diyan na if women are empowered physically meron silang health and they can also contribute to the financial health of their families,” he said.

“We continue to encourage and we thank the Filipino people for supporting that and also the United Nations for recognizing the efforts of the President,” he added.

Meanwhile, Abella expressed optimism that the Philippines will have an improved relationship with the US under President-elect Donald Trump.

“The way I see it, based on the President’s actuations in the past, he especially gives respect when we are also accorded respect,” he said.

“There seems to be mutual respect between President Trump, President-elect Trump and President Duterte,” he added.

“Given the fact that the President-elect Trump seems to understand where President Duterte is coming from, I believe we will have a better relationship,” he said.

As to the launching of the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ASEAN this year, Abella said the government looks forward to more fruitful achievements this year, especially on regional cooperation.

Presidential News Desk

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