‘More students an asset to PH’

Posted on September 2, 2012


The Aquino administration should see the rising number of students in the country as a solution and not a problem that should be remedied by population management, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said yesterday.

Continuing the Church’s attack on the government-endorsed reproductive health (RH) bill, Palma told Catholic educators that young Filipinos should be seen as a “positive force for economic and social development,” and not solely as a problem to be solved.

In his homily at the convention of the Catholic Educators Association of the Philippines (CEAP) Palma expressed disappointment at Aquino’s previous statements.

Palma, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said the President is laying the blame on the lack of educational facilities and materials on the large number of students.

“In education, we give a premium to the youth because they are rich… perhaps at present not so much economically, but given time and in the future, certainly they are our best asset,” Palma said.

“That is why I feel sad that the administration would consider it a big problem that we have many students. I thought we believed that they are not a big problem because we see in them the solution,” he added.

Palma is also against the mandatory sex education provision of the RH bill, which promotes birth control—both by natural and modern methods.

“Instead of teaching students about sex, the government should teach the Bible,” he said.

“We usually say, please more God and less sex in the sense of you know… we know how many (people) would like to introduce sex education as early as Grade 4 or whatever. We thought of why not the Word of God?” he said.

The CEAP convention was attended by around 1,500 officials of Catholic schools nationwide.

As the reproductive health bill undergoes amendments in the House of Representatives, Palma said they will leave it to the lawmakers to make it right.

The bill is in line with the country’s international commitments to promote both natural and artificial methods for couples wanting to space their children.

Health officials also hope that it would help stem the sexually transmitted HIV-AIDS epidemic by educating the youth about responsible sex. /Inquirer

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