Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday laid out the policies he would be implementing once he assumes office including a push for a three-child policy in the country.
Duterte to defy Church with three-child policy
In a 40-minute speech, Duterte said he will back an aggressive drive for the Reproductive Health Law despite opposition from the Catholic Church.
"I will reinstall the program of family planning. Tatlo tama na yan so social workers must be proactive. Better shape up. Wag na muna simbahan, away kami diyan e. Noon pa yan, it started during [President Fidel] Ramos' time. He was the only president who fought for family planning. Pati ako binabangga ko family planning. Hindi na realistic e," he said.
(Three kids are enough. So social workers must be proactive, better shape up. Let's not bring in the Church into the debate first, we'll just fight. They've been at it since the Ramos administration.
Now they're hitting me. [The church's position is] no longer realistic.)
About 80 percent of the Philippines' 100 million population are Catholics, the largest concentration of any Asian country, who oppose abortion and contraception.
Congress passed a law in December 2012, despite opposition from church leaders, allowing public health centers to hand out contraceptives such as condoms and pills and teach sex education in schools.
Incoming National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Ernesto Pernia earlier said Duterte is pushing for "rapid and sustained implementation" of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.
"If you enable families to limit and phase their children to what they can afford and what they can provide for, then that's going to have an effect on poverty and inequality," Pernia said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Duterte vows strong push for family planning: aide
Meanwhile, Duterte reiterated his uncompromising stand against corruption and his marching orders to Cabinet members not to abuse their positions.
"There will be no corruption just like here. The first whip. Mga sekretaryo ka sa Cabinet tapos nangwarta ka. Then I just have to whisper: 'Please go.'"
"You know, kung gusto ko lang talaga magkapera, ilang kontrata na dito sa Davao. Yang park lang na yan. There was this allegation right at the beginning, pinahinto ko. Sabi ko sa people from [Commission on Audit], audit mo muna before I continue with the work there. Otherwise, pag may nakita kayo miski na piso na ninakaw, I will not only admit it, I will resign," he said.
Duterte urged people from all camps to help in nation-building as he leads a "government for the helpless, hopeless and defenseless."
"To those who want to help government, this is your chance." With Reuters