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Philippine News Digest 8

November 27, 2001 · 

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Contents:
1. Group issues guide on rape prevention, handling cases
2. Anti-AIDS programs lead youth into early sex
3. Groups oppose divorce bills
4. P700, 000 worth of bombs a day
5. Solon bats for clear policy on birth control

Group issues guide on rape prevention, handling cases The Women’s Legal Bureau Inc. (WLB) presented to the public recently a manual titled “ Addressing Rape in the Legal System” that seeks to stop or prevent the sexual assault of women and children. The WLB wanted to effect changes in the legal system’s doctrines and processes, and to make uniform the system’s response to rape cases. It also exposes a list of myths that pervades Filipino’s current views on rape, and corrects these misconceptions to come up with a scientific, though sensitive, understanding of rape. Source: PDI Visayas Bureau, 27 November 2001

Anti-AIDS programs lead youth into early sex?

Sex education and the promotion of artificial contraceptives in the prevention of HIV and AIDS have only enticed children into sex at an early age because of increased sexual interest and desire, said Masumi Okamoto, a Japanese and author of Family Love and AIDS during the launching of Philippine AIDS Prevention Foundation November 24. Okamoto said that the use of artificial contraception has only exacerbated the AIDS problem because it has introduced free sex. To stress his point, Okamoto said that in the capital of Tanzania, 60% of high school students are infected with AIDS. In addition, the United Nations AIDS Program said five people in the age group 10 and 24 are infected with HIV every minute while three million people died of AIDS-related diseases last year. In contrary, Arthur Jaucian- UNAIDS country adviser in the Philippines said that sex education and the promotion of contraceptives have helped in the prevention of the disease. Jaucian said that in Thailand the incidence of HIV/AIDS has gone down since bars and brothels have registered a 100% condom use. Source: Cher Jimenez, Today, 26 November 2001.

Groups oppose divorce bills

The Alliance for the Family Foundation Phils. Inc (ALFI) has asked the Senate, Congress and President Arroyo to trash a number of bills that seek to legalize divorce and to overhaul the government’s population education program. Manny Arejola of ALFI said they are closely watching developments on Senate Bill 782 and House Bill 878 sponsored by Sen. Rodolfo Biazon and Rep. Bella Angara-Castillo, respectively. Both bills seek to amend the Family Code to allow for separation and remarriage. Another measure, House Bill 2672 sponsored by Belma Cabilao, proposes the concept of absolute separation with the right to remarry. ALFI calls for support for troubled marriages such as counseling and for actions that address the reasons why couples separate before legalizing separation. Alcuin Papa, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 26 November 2001.

P700, 000 worth of bombs a day

A ranking military official revealed that the government is spending US $1,200 or P700, 000 a day in its operation against the troops of renegade Moro leader Nur Misuari since November 19. This figure translates to a total of P2.8million worth of bombs as of November 26, a day after Misuari was caught on Malaysian territory. Source: PDI Mindanao Bureau, 26 November 2001

Solon bats for clear policy on birth control

Speaker Jose de Venecia has urged the government to make an unequivocal policy on birth control, saying the country’s economic resources could not catch up with the rapidly expanding population. He said that if necessary, the government has to answer the question of whether to compel Filipino couples to limit their children to two or three, as some countries have done, to stem population growth. But he stressed that the solution need not put the Church and State into confrontation. Answering queries from reporters, de Venecia said he is only for methods sanctioned by the Church. Source: Juliet Javellana, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 15 November 2001.

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