.- Facing a proposed population control program, Catholic bishops in the Philippines are defending the Catholic teaching on birth control. The Philippine parliament is considering a proposal to spend $22 million to buy condoms and birth control pills to stem the country's growing population.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, explained the Church's teaching on contraceptives: "they destroy the fruitfulness of human reproductive capacities given by the Creator and hence are morally wrong."
He said the money is "better spent on education and poverty alleviation projects."
The archbishop noted that the Church is not against population control if the sanctity of human life is protected. He endorsed Natural Family Planning as one such population control method. He further recommended that government funding instead be directed towards anti-poverty, anti-hunger, and educational projects.
Archbishop Paciano Aniceto blamed misgovernance and corruption for poverty, rather than overpopulation. “It is an old exploded myth that the population is the culprit of our poverty,” he said. Real development, he said, should proceed from "serious economic management and proper economic planning of our country."