[Statement] Everything in this world has a guardian as the Universe has been appointed custodians, and so does each family – ICAS Phils.

by ICAS Phils
Institute for Comparative and Advanced Studies on the Reproductive Health Bill

The massive response and reactions on the current RH bill being presented in Congress represents both the opinions of the religious elite, the masses, the progressive organizations as well as entities that may either benefit or be affected by the passage of the bill.

Religious organizations may have the authority to give spiritual guidance by mandate of their right to guide the believers, however, religious authorities must also be governed by reason and public interest in deciding matters that may be for the benefit of the family in general.

In looking at the contents of the RH Bill one may see that although this bill notwithstanding does not answer all the required responses to a comprehensive Family planning program or population management, it is one of the landmark bills that addresses the issue of population explosion and the issue of over population.

Like the religious authorities who has the mandate to oversee the spiritual affairs of the flock, the state has the duty to oversee and ensure the well being of its constituents. The current status of the government, which in the opinion of many management experts and onlookers is not as good as everyone wishes to think, and due to the multitude of problems that the government faces, and the shortage of resources on hand; the approaches to addressing these issues must be jugular and never sentimental in nature.

Addressing the issue of responsible parenthood and ensuring that the children they have should be properly taken care of is one of the obligations of married individuals where the duty of the state and religious authorities intersect, the state providing the necessary government intervention, and the religious authorities providing spiritual and moral guidance.

The relative need for a modern and contemporary take on spirituality must be understood in the light of reason and the teachings of religion. The inability to grasp the conventions of modernity and post-modernity will lead religious authorities to become irrelevant if they fail to understand the context of their existence in today’s world.

The Muslim religious authorities in the Philippines must not be swayed by the over arching influence of the Catholic church over the issue of the RH bill for fear of losing crucial support, there are numerous fatawa of scholars on the issue of responsible parenthood and the right of the children to receive proper attention and care from their parents to ensure a more dignified and quality life for them.

It is time for religious authorities to realize that the RH bill is not a mechanism to challenge the authority of the clergy but to assist them in ensuring that their adherents practice responsible parenthood.

The issue of immorality of the RH bill becomes moot and academic because the issue of ensuring morality which actually varies from one society to another, lies in the hands of the religious authorities, and that whenever values in a culture change, society is not alone to blame.

12th May 2011
Manila Philippines


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