.- The Fides news agency is reporting that the President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, has announced to the UN General Assembly that her government will use the money it receives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to promote natural family planning methods. The decision, which Arroyo previously announced during a meeting on inter-religious dialogue, contrasts with the great majority of other countries, which use the UNFPA funds to promote contraception and abortion.
The announcement was met with an enthusiastic response in the country. The Archbishop of Cebu, Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, praised the decision and said President Arroyo was courageous for adopting the new demographic policy, and he called on supporters of artificial methods of birth control to put a hold on their legislative countermeasures until the success of the natural family planning could be evaluated. Likewise, the cardinal called for a “multiparty moratorium on all legislative action in order to give more time and consideration to the new policy, which is genuinely inspired by a desire to protect women, families and the Filipino society.”