Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pro Reproductive Health Bill statement signed by De La Salle University faculty members #rhbill

We, the undersigned Faculty Members of the De La Salle University, acting individually, and with reasoned conviction, cognizant of our role in society as champions of enlightenment and in pursuit of our mission to create a haven for critical Christian thinkers committed to serve society, particularly the poor, assert that:

? The right to life is a fundamental Christian tenet that finds full meaning when combined with the inherent rights of humans to a decent, safe, and productive existence as well as to an all-round development. Thus, beyond protecting the very important right of the unborn, it must extend to a recognition that a life that is weighed down by poverty, sickness, and social inequality–now compounded by environmental stresses–deprives humans of agency to transform themselves and the world for the common good.

? A key dimension of the democratic ideal at the core of our community and country is the promotion of pluralism and diversity. In a society marred by great imbalances of power and wealth, the freedom that comes with choice has become a privilege. Empowering the poor and the marginalized, women in particular, requires opening up opportunities for their self-actualization. In this modern day, it is alarming that death from childbirth continues to claim 4,500 women every year or about 12 every day. Lack of access to quality and affordable reproductive health services and timely information as much as poverty has kept many women from finding their own voice, exercising their basic rights, and taking their place as full members of society.

? The current population level, ranged against the level of our physical, environmental, and natural resources, is only one–albeit important–factor to the worsening quality of life of Filipinos. While our population growth rate has declined somewhat below the two percent threshold, it is still higher relative to the increase in the incomes of families in the 7th to the 10th decile groups–the segment of the population with the highest proportion of those living in absolute poverty as well. Here, among these groups, the quality of life is severely compromised due to an increase in population.

? Part of a meaningful celebration of life itself is the affirmation of the inherent moral standing of every human being, who has the capacity to make reasoned decisions, guided both by moral and ethical considerations, as well as by scientific truths and conventions. The ability to make moral judgments, however, requires knowledge and information, and for those living in materially constrained circumstances, requires further support from the society. The capacity to provide that support now rests with the State and its instrumentalities.

Our belief in the above mentioned premises leads us to express support for the Reproductive Health Bill in both houses of Congress as a much needed step toward the attainment of a just and democratic society which celebrates life at its fullest range and quality. Our support for the RH Bill is grounded on the following convictions:

? Enacting the RH Bill into law would strengthen the capacity of the State to assist women and their partners to make informed choices, thereby helping them to become healthy and responsible parents and attain a life of quality for themselves and their families. This is achieved by providing women and their partners, particularly the poor, with information and other forms of reproductive health support, including safe and affordable methods that do not violate the Constitutional provision declaring as illegal abortion and, by implication, the sale and promotion of abortifacient birth control technologies.

? The passage of the Bill, and with the active participation of parents and the guidance of the educational and moral leaders of society, will help provide the youth with access to age-appropriate knowledge and information that would equip them to make decisions that would prevent them from having early and premarital sex, unwanted and teen pregnancies, and abortions, and help them become healthy and responsible parents in the future.

? The RH Bill is not a panacea to solve the problem of poverty; it is a vital component of the complex set of interventions that all sectors of society, not only the State, should undertake to promote and make successful.

? The RH Bill provides only options for individual citizens, and does not contain coercive or punitive mechanisms to compel or penalize persons to act against their own religious beliefs, moral and ethical convictions, and cultural sensibilities. For example, and to respect the religious rights of individuals, a health worker cannot be compelled by the state to disseminate artificial contraceptives, or parents may pull their children out of sex education classes.

? The Bill would ensure the allocation of public funds to finance what appear to be personal and individual concerns such as the number and spacing of children a couple should have, or the health and well-being of individuals on issues that may not be seen in the ordinary sense as public health risks. This is consistent with the Christian value of empathy and social responsibility, and of shared commitment to the promotion of a quality of life where a healthy balance between population and its physical environment is achieved that would help ease the burden on our collective social fabric and limited resources.

It is for these reasons that we are confident that we are affirming our commitment to a life with quality when we set our signatures herein.

Signatories to the Statement As of September 3, 2012

1. Prof. Ma. Arcadio G. Malborosa Political Science
2. Dr. Antonio P. Contreras Political Science
3. Prof. Louie Montemar Political Science
4. Prof. Anna Malindog Political Science
5. Dr. Grace Roldan Political Science
6. Dr. Antoinette Raquiza Political Science
7. Prof. Gina Lomotan Political Science
8. Dr. Francisco Magno Political Science
9. Dr. Levita A. Duhaylungsod Political Science
10. Mr. Robin Garcia Political Science
11. Prof. Mark Evidente Political Science
12. Prof. Allen B. Surla Political Science
13. Prof. Antonio Pedro Jr. Political Science
14. Prof. Michael Angelo B. Promentilla Chemical Engineering
15. Prof. Ma. Carla Pacis Literature
16. Dr. Luis F. Razon Chemical Engineering
17. Mr. Anton Simon M. Palo Psychology
18. Dr. Robert E. Javier Jr. Psychology
19. Dr. Allan Benedict I. Bernardo Counseling and Educational Psychology
20. Prof. Ronald Holmes Political Science
21. Mr. Anthony Lawrence A. Borja Political Science
22. Atty. Avelino M. Sebastian Jr. College of Law
23. Dr. Arturo Pacificador Jr. Mathematics
24. Dr. Rochelle Lucas English and Applied Linguistics
25. Dr. Danilo Dayag English and Applied Linguistics
26. Dr. Jeane Peracullo Philosophy
27. Atty. Arno Sanidad College of Law
28. Dr. Marjorie Evasco Literature
29. Atty. Chito Gascon Political Science
30. Ms. Carmina Y. Untalan Political Science
31. Prof. Edwin Santiago Educational Leadership and Management
32. Mr. Redentor Recio Political Science/LSIG
33. Mr. Arnel B. Galgo COSCA
34. Mr. Rey Pomarca COSCA
35. Mr. Francis J. Bartolome COSCA
36. Mr. Juanito Alcazar COSCA
37. Ms. Maria Ella Oplas Political Science
38. Atty. Emily Sanchez Salcedo Commercial Law
39. Dr. Dante G. Simbulan Jr. Physiology Department, College of Medicine
40. Prof, Natividad Dominique Manauat Philosophy
41. Dr. Noelle Leslie de la Cruz Philosophy
42. Mr. Vicente G. Groyon III Literature
43. Dr. Rhoderick Nuncio Filipino
44. Mr. Angelito Rodriguez Chemical Engineering
45. Prof. Ramon Rafael Dolor Philosophy

1. Enrique Dan C. Generoso III
2. Vinson Gabato
3. McReynald S. Banderlipe II
4. Antonio Marco Lector

[Source: Photo courtesy Sydney Morning Herald.]

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