Sorry folks, no fireworks

Ria was correct in her comments. There were no fireworks at the City Council yesterday over the controversial Development Plan for Children.

The expected verbal clash was toned down by the move to defer consideration of the issue until next week. Its proponent Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad told our colleagues no less than the Mayor himself wants to talk the matter with members of the City Council before its final voting next session.

The principal oppositor Councilor Teresita Mata-Maranon delivered her final speech to appeal to our colleagues to reject the proposal.

The Development Plan for Children indeed appears innocent at first glance. However, a large portion of it deals with reproductive health issues opposed by pro-lifers, family crusaders and the Catholic Church. Neophyte Councilor Kaloi Bello on a number of occasion sought clarification if the title of the measure fits with its content.

Had the proposed plan been solely for the development of children, I have no doubt this measure would have long been approved. It has dragged on this long – over a year now – due largely to provisions regarding the contentious reproductive health programs of the government.

My own take of it is that having failed to pass legislation at the national level, RH programs are being pushed at the local level. Quezon City passed a measure last year which met stiff opposition from the Catholic Church.

A number of us suspect that this so-called Development Plan for Children is a Trojan Horse. Hidden by the gift wrappings are highly divisive reproductive health provisions.

5 Responses to “Sorry folks, no fireworks”

  1. Philippine Democracy Online Says:

    Hi Councilor Peter! Can I say something? Although most of us believe that development is a top priority for any government, I believe that it is equally important to find a compromise with the Church on this issue. Being a democratic society, we cannot just reject nor set aside the views of religious people simply because they are “religious”. The Church, being a part of civil society, is integral to the will-formation of the people. Moving forward without considering the valid objections from the Church is perilous for our democratic institutions. After all, the government and the Church are one in making our society a better place to live in. This is a ground with which a “NO” to the proposal in its current form and substance is the morally and politically the reasonable thing to do.

  2. reason is the reason. - » Davao City 1, Catholic Church 0. Says:

    […] a no-brainer for most has become an exercise in philosophical contortion for others. Peter Laviña, one of the councilors who voted against the resolution, warns that “this so-called Development […]

  3. micketymoc Says:

    I’m sorry to hear you got outvoted, Councilor, but perhaps in future you might consider that what’s good for the Catholic Church isn’t necessarily what’s good for Davao’s mothers and children.

    PDO, I totally, absolutely disagree that listening to the Church in this case is good for our democracy – indeed, I believe that toeing the Church line on this issue is perilous for our democratic institutions, for reasons I hope I’ve fully explained here.

  4. Michael Latayan Says:

    hello Councilor, my comment might be delayed as I am a neophyte blogger. There are just some issues that I find confusing. If I remember right, in one of our classes in PolSci, it was discussed that there should be separation of the church and state. Now, not only in this issue but in a lot more issues in our country, the church interferes. I’m a Catholic but there are some issues that in my opinion, the church leaders should leave to the legislators. Secondly, as a doctor, the use of contraceptives is advocated for many reasons, to name a few, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, good family spacing, etc. Now, the Philippines is one of the overpopulated countries, family planning is a must in our country. I’m not saying that contraceptives is the only option but it is one of the options. And frankly speaking, we really need to do family planning.
    There are a lot of issues here that they themselves clash – moral, civil, and health. I know that its easier said than done but I hope that there would be a way to prevent these issues from clashing in the future.

  5. teofilo de vera Says:

    “Reason is the reason”? Reason is not the reason. Ignorance is. Myopia, too. Ignorance and spiritual myopia masquerading as wisdom and compassion. The 18 in Davao who voted for this resolution THINK they care for the hungry masses, and are under the illusion that the deceit disguised as “reproductive health” can “help”. Truth is, they see persons as mere statistics, numbers in a population control game, not as beings with souls and a capacity to rise above struggle and find meaning in suffering. How can any intelligent, rational human being believe this resolution can solve the problem of overpopulation when it in fact is a “solution” that will create more and bigger problems? They think they have won? How shallow can we get here, huh? Winning a battle but losing the war is definitely not winning, is it? Of course, they feel triumphant now. So be it. The graveness of their error will dawn on them when their teenage daughters, grandaughters and great grandaughters ad infinitum, come home pregnant one day, maybe even without being sure who the father is, and abortion will be an accessible solution out of the inconvenience, thanks to the “reproductive health” bill. The saddest part about the approval of this resolution is: it reflects hopelessness and relies on mere human strength to remedy human maladies. It kicks God out of the picture. Pity that critics claim that the Church should let the people “use their conscience”! What “conscience” are they talking about? Can’t they see that this resolution will in fact KILL one’s conscience? This resolution is suicidal! It is the Church’s stand–supported by 4 votes in Davao–that will keep the conscience alive, for in the struggle to discern between right and wrong, a person is driven to dialogue with God. But, alas, this talk would be way beyond the horizon of the myopic. Nonetheless, this is meant to assure them that in time, their eyes will be opened.

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