MANILA, Philippines - Eight-division champ Manny Pacquiao on Monday struck a blow against the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, which will provide poor families free access to contraceptives.
Speaking to reporters, Pacquiao said Filipinos should follow the Lord's command when he said that people should "go forth and multiply."
He said that coming from a large family, he is thankful that his parents did not practice family planning.
"We all have different opinions and beliefs. I believe nowhere in the Bible does it say that we should limit the number of our kids. Unang-una, sabi ng Panginoon - go to the world and multiply. Hindi niya sinabi go to the world and multiply and just have 2 or 3 kids. Magpakarami kayo," he said.
Pacquiao, who is the congressional representative of the lone district of Sarangani, said government should teach Filipino families how to plan their families without having to promote artificial contraceptives. He said couples must learn to control their sexual urges if they plan to have smaller families.
"Bakit hindi na lang natin turuan? Kung ayaw talaga ng bawat pamilya na maraming anak pero di maiwasan, dapat ganun ang gagawin nila. Makasalanan kasi yung gagamit ka ng condom. (Kasalanan kasi) magpalalglag ka dahil hindi pwede isilang ang anak na ito. Magsakripisyo naman kayong mga lalaki. Tiisin niyo. Ay mga babae din pala. Minsan yung mga babae pa ang nangangalabit," he said, drawing laughter from those at the press conference.
(Why not teach them? If a family doesn't want a lot of children, they should abstain. It's a sin to use a condom. It's a sin to have an abortion because you can't have a baby. You men should sacrifice. You women, too. Sometimes, it's the women who get urges.)
Supporters of the RH bill have said the proposed measure could be passed in the 15th Congress because of mounting support from lawmakers. Lawmakers and RH advocates have not seen the bill come to fruition in the last 14 years.
House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte said he wants the bill voted on in plenary to see the consensus of lawmakers in the House of Representatives.