ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Catholic Church, Aquino government open family planning issue
Palace officials and the representatives from the Catholic Bishops' and Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) met Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the Pope Pius Center in United Nations Avenue, Manila.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, who was present in the meeting, said the dialogue was primarily a discussion on the five-point position of President Benigno Aquino 3rd on responsible parenthood.
During the dialogue, Lacierda said both parties have agreed, "full information must be provided to the public regarding all methods of family planning."
"It was also discussed that information as to benefits and risks of family planning method will also be provided," Lacierda said during a briefing in Malaca?ang.
He said the details of what information to be given have not been worked out. "We are forming a technical working group so that the details of the information can be spelled out and can be discussed," he said.
"Once they [the technical working group] come up with a plan, they will submit it to the plenary, to the bishops and to the government officials, for discussion," he added.
Lacierda also said that the government and the CBCP also agreed that the government "should not be an instrument to enforce one's conscience, national/religious views nor to actively encourage the violation of the person's conscience."
"The dialogue is held in order to get important stakeholders views on executive policies," the governmentspokesman added. He said the government officials and the Church representatives also discussed some points of the reproductive health bill during their meeting.
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