RH line in 2012 SONA gets loudest applause

Posted at 07/23/2012 8:23 PM | Updated as of 07/24/2012 10:43 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Responsible parenthood can solve backlogs in public school classrooms, chairs, and books, President Benigno Aquino said in his 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday.

The remark was one of the most-applauded portions of Aquino's SONA.

Although the President did not specifically mention the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill that is still pending in Congress, his statement is being viewed as an endorsement of the measure.

"Sana nga po, ngayong paubos na ang backlog sa edukasyon, sikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante. Sa tingin ko po, responsible parenthood ang sagot dito," Aquino said.

Malacañang has laid out the President's 5-point position on responsible parenthood.

These are:

- Aquino is against abortion.

- He is in favor of giving couples the right to choose how best to manage their families so that in the end, their welfare and that of their children are best served.

- Aquino believes that the state must respect each individual’s right to follow his or her conscience and religious convictions on matters and issues pertaining to the unity of the family and the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.

- In a situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged ones, are in no position to make an informed judgment, the state has the responsibility to provide.

- In the range of options and information provided to couples, natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented as equally available, Aquino said.

The Palace laid out his position after a meeting between the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and members of the Cabinet in 2010.

Aquino's 2012 SONA drew praise from fellow government officials, including Vice-President Jejomar Binay.

"Napakaganda ng mga sinabi ni Pangulong Noynoy Aquino. Tama sya. Walang imposible. Nakikita na natin na nagkakabunga na ang mga reporma na sinimulan ng ating Pangulo," Binay said in a statement.

"Bilang Bise Presidente at myembro ng gabinete, determinado akong tulungan syang pagandahin ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino. Kailangan din nya ang ibayong suporta at tiwala ng sambayanan. Suportahan natin nang husto si Pangulong Noynoy," he added.

Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, meanwhile, said Aquino's 2012 SONA is his best so far.

He told ANC that the President's report on the country's economic growth is the best part of the President's SONA.