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more Ateneo faculty members support RH bill

66 Ateneo faculty members support RH bill

MANILA, Philippines – Sixty-six faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila University have signed a declaration supporting the passage of the Reproductive Health bill despite warnings by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The declaration, dated October 27, 2008, said the teachers were speaking for themselves and not for the Jesuit university.

“After studying the provisions of House Bill 5043 in light of the realities of Filipino women, poor families, and our youth, we, 66 individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University, speaking for ourselves and not for the university, have come to conclude that the Philippines urgently needs a national policy on reproductive health and population development, as provided by HB 5043,” the declaration read.

The declaration emphasized that the faculty members grappled with their conscience and agreed to support the measure.

“We hope our expression of support can help enrich and broaden the discussions and debates on the issue of reproductive health and population development, by presenting an alternative view supportive of House Bill 5043 coming from Catholic academics and educators,” the teachers said.

“A consistent, integrated, and comprehensive population framework guarantees budgetary support from the national government for reproductive health initiatives, and ensures their sustainability across local government units regardless of changes in national and local leadership. While curbing our rapid population growth rate of 2.04 percent will not, by itself, solve poverty in our country, addressing the population problem is crucial to overall economic growth and poverty reduction, along with asset redistribution, employment and livelihood opportunities, combating corruption, improving governance, and strengthening institutions,” the Ateneo mentors added.

“Those who oppose the RH Bill have denounced it as ‘pro-abortion,’ ‘anti-life,’ ‘anti-women,’ ‘anti-poor,’ and ‘immoral.’ However, our reason, informed by our faith, has led us to believe and say otherwise,” the statement read in reference to the opposition by the hierarchy of the Catholic church in the country.

“The RH Bill is pro-life and pro-women. HB 5043 categorically rejects abortion, which it deems a ‘crime,’ in consonance with the 1987 Constitution. What it, in fact, wants to do is prevent abortions by offering couples an array of ‘medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality’ family planning methods, from which they can choose the one that will work best for them. In so doing, the RH Bill seeks to avert unwanted and mistimed pregnancies, which cause mostly poor and married women despairing over yet another pregnancy to seek an induced abortion. We are alarmed that an estimated 473,400 Filipino women went for an abortion in 2000, and that some 79,000 of them wound up in hospitals for abortion complications. We consider it our guilt and our shame that so many of our women should be driven to such dire straits as to make abortion a family planning method, for want of information on and access to an effective means to prevent an unplanned pregnancy,” the declaration said.

The signatories to the declaration were: Ricardo G. Abad (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Joy G. Aceron (Department of Political Science); Raymond B. Aguas (Department of Theology); Liane Peña Alampay (Department of Psychology); Fernando T. Aldaba (Department of Economics); Raul Socrates C. Banzuela (Program for Development Studies); Remmon E. Barbaza (Department of Philosophy); Germelino M. Bautista (Department of Economics); Edsel L. Beja, Jr. (Department of Economics);

Rofel G. Brion (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies); Ma. Cecilia C. Bulos (Department of Psychology); Liberty L. Chee (Department of Modern Languages); Sharon Ann C. Co (Department of Psychology); Antonio Esteban G. Conejos (Department of English); Manuel D. Cuenca, Jr., M.D. (Department of Psychology); Gary C. Devilles (Kagawaran ng Filipino); Aleta C. Domdom (Department of Economics); Atty. Alexander C. Dy (Ateneo Law School); Manuel B. Dy, Jr. (Department of Philosophy); Elizabeth Uy Eviota (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ana Marie O. Fernandez (Department of English); Joseph H. Francia (Department of Economics); Jamil Paolo S. Francisco (Department of Economics);

Geoffrey A. Guevara (Department of Philosophy); Marita Castro Guevara (Department of Interdisciplinary Studies); Roberto O. Guevara (Department of Theology); Ma. Regina M. Hechanova (Department of Psychology); Anne Marie A. Karaos (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Michael J. Liberatore (Department of Theology); Liza L. Lim (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ma. Emma Concepcion D. Liwag (Department of Psychology); Ada Javellana Loredo (Department of English); Jozon A. Lorenzana (Department of Communication); J. Ma. Arcadio Malbarosa (Department of Philosophy); Pamela Joy M. Mariano (Department of Philosophy); Ma. Isabel Pefianco Martin (Department of English); Marcia Czarina Corazon M. Medina (Department of Sociology-Anthropology);

Ma. Isabel E. Melgar (Department of Psychology); Luisito G. Montalbo (Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health); Cristina Jayme Montiel (Department of Psychology); Aaron Rom O. Moralina (Department of History); Jocelyn M. Mayoralga-Nolasco (Department of Psychology); Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo (Department of Psychology); Glenda C. Oris (Kagawaran ng Filipino); Josephine P. Perez (Department of Psychology); Raul Pertierra (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Caroliza T. Peteros (Program for Development Studies); Alicia T. Pingol (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Emma E. Porio (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Mary Racelis (Department of Sociology-Anthropology); Ma. Margarita A. Ramos (Department of Psychology);

Mariel Vincent A. Rapisura (Program for Development Studies); Danton Remoto (Department of English); Agustin Martin G. Rodriguez (Department of Philosophy); Alma Maria O. Salvador (Department of Political Science); Atty. Maria Cleofe Gettie C. Sandoval (Leaders for Health Program), and; Joselito T. Sescon (Department of Economics). Anton Luis C. Sevilla (Department of Philosophy); Alma Valerie C. Soriano (Department of English); Sherilyn T. Siy (Department of Psychology); Mary C. Thomas (Department of English); Jose Ma. Edito K. Tirol (Department of History); Philip Arnold P. Tuaño (Department of Economics); Eileen F. Tupaz (Department of Philosophy); John Carlo P. Uy (Department of Philosophy), and; Ma. Eufemia C. Yap, M.D. (Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health). – GMANews.TV


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  1. exiled07
    October 30, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    If you agree with what faculty members of the Ateneo have done to promote the RH Bill, please add your name to the this online petition. Thank you for your support!



    To: Ateneo de Manila University, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, and the Congress of the Philippines

    We, students of the Ateneo de Manila University, alumni of the
    Ateneo de Manila University, and other Filipinos, fully
    support the statement of the faculty members of the Ateneo de Manila
    University made on October 28, 2008 on the Reproductive Health Bill
    pending before the Congress of the Philippines (see

    We further laud their efforts in trying to promote access to
    reproductive health for all Filipinos through their well-researched
    and thoughtfully argued position paper (see “Catholics Can Support the
    RH Bill in Good Conscience”

    We call on the Ateneo de Manila University, the Catholic Bishops
    Conference of the Philippines, and the Congress of the Philippines to
    respect and consider the valid and compelling arguments these
    professors have made in favor of giving all Filipinos, rich or poor,
    complete access to reproductive health.

    We call on all them and all Filipinos to come together and support the
    passage of the Reproductive Health Bill into law.


    The Undersigned

  2. ilding abordo
    August 10, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Please do not allow a few men in FANCY ROBES kill RH Bill 5043. I believe, they do not represent the whole Clergy.

  3. ildingparin
    August 12, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Please do not allow a few men in FANCY ROBES kill the RH Bill. The few noisy and bullying men with IQ slightly higher than room temperature do not represent the whole clergy.

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