May 6, 2016, 10:48p.m. – A NATIONAL coalition of pro-life groups is seeking representation in Congress to push for more legislation to protect families.

Ang Prolife is among 115 partylist groups seeking to win seats in the House of Representatives, running on a platform to defend the sanctity of human life and the role of the family in society.

The group is composed of family organizations, parents and youth, said lawyer Jan Lumanta, Ang Prolife secretary general and nominee.

Lumanta is expecting a deluge of anti-life and anti-family bills. “Kami ay tumatakbo sa eleksiyon para dumami ang pro-life congressmen sa Congress. When these bills against life are filed, we need these pro-life congressmen to preserve the culture of life,” he told the Varsitarian.

Congress is letting in a “culture of death” after passing the “reproductive health” (RH) law and the consideration of “death bills” (divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control and homosexual unions), which is against Filipino Christian values, Lumanta said.

Its platform calls for the following:

-Magna Carta for Families and the creation of the Commission on the Family;

-family crisis desks or lupong pampamilya in every barangay;

-Parent education secondary support program in the barangay level;

-Child Education Act;

-Family Living Wage Act;

-Family support programs in all national government agencies and local governments;

-Family farm schools;

-Youth desks in every barangay;

-Tax incentives and other benefits for families of overseas Filipino workers; and

-Equal budget allocation for both natural family planning and artificial family planning.

RH setback

Pro-life groups suffered a major setback in December 2012 when Congress, under heavy pressure from President Benigno Aquino III, passed the reproductive health law that provides state funding for artificial contraception and mandatory sex education.

The Supreme Court later sided with pro-life groups in affirming that life begins at fertilization, striking down down eight key provisions even as it declared the reproductive health law “not unconstitutional.”

The high court concluded that only contraceptives that do not cause abortion and do not prevent implantation should be included in Philippine National Drug Formulary System, the list of family planning supplies, and the Essential Drugs List of the RH Law. It also struck down parts of Sections 3, 7, 17 and 23, dealing with penalties for health personnel, government employees, and health institutions that refuse or fail to provide services and programs under the RH Law.

Proportional representation

On Monday, May 9, voters are allowed to vote for only one party-list group. The party-list system of representation accounts for 20 percent of the membership of the House of Representatives.

The party-list is supposed to give proportional representation to “marginalized or under-represented national, regional and sectoral parties, or organizations or coalitions thereof registered with the Commission on Elections.” Parties are elected, not individuals.

These groups can be sectoral parties representing labor, fisherfolk, peasant, women, urban poor, youth, indigenous communities, overseas workers, veterans, professionals, the handicapped and the elderly; or they can be sectoral organizations “bound together by similar physical attributes or characteristics, or by employment, interests or concerns.”

They can also be political parties or “organized groups of qualified voters pursuing the same ideology, political ideas and principles for the general conduct of the government.”

Another pro-life group running for Congress is Buhay Hayaang Yumabong or Buhay, backed by the El Shaddai charismatic community. Roy Abrahmn D.R. Narra


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