Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte will be making a strong push on family planning and may implement a three-child policy to solve the country’s over-population.

While the religious sector opposes the reproductive health law, Duterte believes that it won’t do any harm to Filipinos.

“Sabi ko ibalik ko talaga ang family planning. It will do us good. Walang kasamaan ‘yan. I am a Christian, but I am a realist and we have to do something about our population,” Duterte said on a press briefing on May 22.

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte
Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte

He also said that he defies the belief of the church and cited the scriptures written 200 years ago to be irrelevant to our society.

“I don’t give much importance to the spiritual; walang maitutulong iyan, sa totoo lang. What you should worry about is how you suffer here in this planet. You do not worry about suffering after you make the exit,” the incoming president said.

Under his government, Duterte said that the comprehensive reproductive health programs will be implemented and artificial birth control methods will be readily available for couples.

It is a common knowledge that the Catholic Church only supports the natural family planning, but Duterte stood firm on his belief and even challenged the religious group for a debate.

He also didn’t hold back in attacking the said church.

“Hindi nga ninyo ma-correct correct yung mga abuses ng mga pari. Until now you have not done anything. There are so many things the Church has committed,” he stated.

 “If I start naming the bishops who got married and have women in their lives, sasabog itong Catholic Church,” he added.

Family planning will fight maternal mortality rate

In 2016, the country’s maternal mortality rate continues to rise at 221 deaths per 100,000 live births.

In a recent interview, Health Secretary Janette L. Garin, author of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, said that family planning will help reduce the country’s high maternal mortality rate.

“Giving poor women free access to family planning programs and commodities will address the high maternal mortality rate of our country. We have to resolve the cases of mothers dying because of pregnancy and prevent child birth complications,” Garin said.

Health Secretary Janette Garin.
Health Secretary Janette Garin.

It can be recalled during the debate of the Reproductive Health Act before the 14th Congress, then Congresswoman Garin argued that family planning is pro-life and pro-family. It is also anti-abortion and anti-irresponsible parenthood.

“Family planning is not in the same context with abortion. Family planning is in the context of responsible parenthood. I am a doctor by profession and a parent myself. Fact is, we have hundreds and thousands of families living below poverty level denied of education and information on family planning services. No less than the World Health Organization (WHO) in its efforts to globally promote family planning recognizes this problem,” she said.

“…the comprehensive health care means the inclusion of measures that promote safe motherhood, care for persons with HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections, infertility treatment, and male involvement in reproductive health,” the Health Secretary added.

Based on United Nations estimates, the current population of the Philippines is 102,090,775.