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[av_heading heading=’Alvarez: Gay marriage can help manage population ‘ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]
BY TIFFANY ANNE TAN
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BACOLOD City – The government may better manage the country’s population if it allows same-sex marriage, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said.
Alvarez, who was here on Sept. 30 for the induction of new Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan members in Negros Occidental, said the government must address population growth.
“Siguro dito pwede i-legalize ang (Perhaps, in this respect, we can legalize) same-sex marriage,” he said. “It’s a natural way to manage population.”
Alvarez wants to sponsor a bill pushing for same-sex marriage. He said he has asked his staff to draft the bill.
Reproductive health care programs provided for by the law will get more allocation under the Department of Health budget for 2017, he said.
“Sinigurado ko na merong malaking pera para sa reproductive health care, iyong para sa pag-address natin ng population growth,” said Alvarez.
Opponents of the Reproductive Health law, especially the Roman Catholic Church, claimed the law promotes abortion and artificial birth control.
Its supporters, on the other hand, stressed the law gives couples choices on how to plan their family and prioritizes health care for women.
Alvarez said the Philippines has a population of more than 100 million, while Malaysia, which has the same land area as the former, has only 32 million.
Laos, which is only a little smaller than the Philippines, has six million, while Mindanao alone has 25 million, the House speaker said.
“Paano tayo aangat? No matter what we do, iyong poverty mahirap i-address, [so] we have to manage our population effectively,” he said.
Alvarez stressed the past administrations failed to address population growth due to the Church’s objection to reproductive health programs.
“Hindi tayo against sa Simbahan pero ako nakiki-usap, kung wala rin lang naman kayong magawa para tulungan ang gobyerno how to address poverty, the best [you] can do is keep quiet and let the government do its duty and obligation,” he said./PN