Tag Archives: Sex and Morality

The Perceived Defeat of the Reproductive Health Bill, Could the Church Coerce Congress?

If we believe on what the  Roman Catholic church on Thursday that it has sufficient support in the Philippine congress to defeat a “controversial family planning bill promoting sex education and the use of contraceptives” then we expect chaos brought about by unabated increase of population in the country.

The bishops according to Maria Fenny Tatad, executive director of the church lobby group Bishops-Legislators Caucus of the Philippines, believe they have a number of congressmen in the House of Representatives who could block the passage of the Reproductive Health Care Act. Out of the 238 members of the House of Representatives only 99 congressmen do support the bill.

Only 99 members of the 238-member House of Representatives have openly said they will support the Reproductive Health Care Act, while the rest are expected to side with the church, Tatad said. Population control is a highly politicized issue in the Philippines, where more than 80 percent of the 90 million population are Catholics.

I am not sure how true is this claim but the Catholic church in the Philippines “wields considerable public influence, frowns on any artificial form of birth control and has been waging a high-profile campaign to block the passage of the bill, which is now before congress,” as circulated in the news. However recent surveys showed that most Catholics are in favor of family planning and sex education to be taught in the public school. What is the Catholic church trying to imply with this statement? Are the bishops giving the public the impression that the Catholic church maintains a strong influence in the House of Representatives? I don’t think the Catholic church has that control anymore on the people in so far as population issues are concerned. It is highly improbable for the Catholic church to make one politician lose during the next election just because he supported the Reproductive Health Bill. I still believe people vote with their conscience not on what the church says. So there is no basis of that fear for congressmen losing because the priests control the minds of their parishioners. 

Philippine Population Commission has always mentained the importance of curbing incidence of birth so as not to overpopulate the country. The Philippine population growth rate of 2.04 according to International aid agencies and economists is one of of Asia’s highest. But the Catholic church is against these International agencies supporting the Reproductive Health Bill that will curb rapid population growth but insures the health of women on reproductive ages.

Contrary to what the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life say, the Reproductive Health Bill which includes family planning program, sex education, and advice on birth control, may not necessarily immoral. It only enhances people perspectives on reproductive  health and propagate values on responsible parenthood. Liberal minded people these days may understand which is socially appropriate without necessarily being “immoral.”

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INDONESIA REQUIRES FEMALE MASSEUSES TO PADLOCK PANTS

 

(Cosplaying may even exibit sensuality)

(Will similar law be passed soon in the Philippines?)

What if female and male entertainers from the Philippines are asked to wear chastity belts to stop the proliferation of prostitution in the country? Being one of the more popular tourist destinations, it has been perceived that the influx of tourists in the Philippines is not only motivated by its beautiful beaches but on its entertainment value. Tourists come to the Philippines not only its beaches and other scenic spots but to be entertained as well. And entertainment may mean so many things including sex. This is exactly what happened to Indonesia when local authorities told their female masseuses to padlock their pants.

To curb incidence of prostitution, a local government in Indonesia’s East Java province ask masseuses to wear a padlock on their pants. While this may be a sound deterrent against prostitution, it did not sit well with State Minister for Women’s Empowerment, Meuthia Hatta, who said that the recently implemented policy in the tourist area was misguided.

A news paper quoted the minister from saying that such policy is an insult to women. “It is not the right way to prevent promiscuity. It insults women as if they are the ones in the wrong.”  A newspaper showed a photograph of a masseuse with a padlock on the waist band of her trousers. A local administrator wants to maintain the image of Batu, 75 km (46 miles) south of Indonesia’s second-biggest city, Surabaya, as a popular tourist destination not on prostitution but “for its cool climate, hot springs and mountain scenery.”

“Last month, Indonesia passed a bill to restrict access to pornographic and violent sites on the Internet, while parliament has yet to pass a controversial pornography bill that aims to shield the young from pornographic material and lewd acts.”  The earlier draft versions contained provisions that penalize “people for kissing in public and criminalize many forms of art or traditional culture that hinge on sensuality.” Such provision, however, sparked criticisms since it may undermine basic freedom and “hurt Indonesia’s tolerant traditions.”

The Indonesian State Minister may have been irked by a photograph of a masseuse with a padlock on the waist band of her trousers. She said the “best way to curb prostitution in massage parlors is to improve security systems including installing CCTV.”

Does similar law hold water in the Philippines? Will people look at this as a curtailment of basic freedom guaranteed by the Constitution despite its positive impact on religion and morality? 

 

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