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Palace, officials hold second dialogue on family planning program

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Palace officials and representatives of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) met anew Monday morning and discussed the responsible parenthood bill that President Benigno S. Aquino III is pushing to strengthen the administration’s poverty reduction measures.

In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Atty. Edwin Lacierda said the second dialogue was very cordial, with the government successfully explaining to the prelates the administration plan to prioritize the responsible parenthood bill in lieu of the reproductive health bill still pending at Congress.

Lacierda said the responsible parenthood bill is primarily a poverty reduction measure and not intended to set a parameter or target on population growth rate.

Lacierda was joined by Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman, Health Secretary Enrique Ona and Presidential Management Staff head Julia Abad in the dialogue with catholic clergy leaders.

From the CBCP, present were Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of San Fernando City, Pampanga, Bishop Chito Tagle of Imus, Cavite, and Bishop Gabriel Reyes of Antipolo.

He said Secretary Soliman discussed the conditional cash transfer program while Secretary Ona explained the legal aspect of the proposed responsible parenthood bill which they plan to submit to Congress.

Lacierda said the responsible parenthood bill would be among the topics that President Aquino wants to discuss in the forthcoming Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting.

The meeting was the second official talks between the CBCP and the government after President Aquino met with some Catholic bishops at the Bahay Pangarap on Oct. 11, 2010. The first official dialogue was held on Nov. 19 at the Presidential Management Staff office. (PNA)




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