Church protest at Philippines condom plan

MANILA, Oct 8, 2007 (AFP) – A proposal by the Philippine parliament to spend 22 million dollars buying condoms and birth control pills has been condemned by the Roman Catholic Church, it was reported Monday. The president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, told the Manila Standard Today that the money would be “better spent on education and poverty alleviation projects.”

He told the paper that the use of condoms and artificial birth control methods was against “nature and God’s law.”

“They are wrong because the Church forbids them as they destroy the fruitfulness of human reproductive capacities given by the Creator and hence are morally wrong,” he said.

He was commenting on a proposal by the Philippine Congress to spend some one billion pesos (22.45 million dollars) supplying condoms and birth control pills to the poor.

The project is to fill the void left when a 30-year-old USAID programme which supplies free contraception to this predominately Roman Catholic South East Asian nation comes to an end next year.

The Philippines, with a population of more than 87 million, has one of the highest birth rates in Asia at 2.3 percent annually a