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Pro-Life Philippines Position Paper on Rep. Palatino’s HB 6330,

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Pro-Life Philippines Position Paper on Rep. Palatino’s HB 6330,
or “Religious Freedom in Government Offices Act”

 

Last weekend Cong. Raymond Palatino of Kabataan Partylist filed HB 6330 entitled “Religious Freedom in Government Offices Act”. Under the measure, the conduct of religious ceremonies and the display of religious symbols should be prohibited within the premises and perimeter of offices, departments and bureaus, including publicly-owned spaces and corridors within such offices, departments and bureaus.
This is, in effect, taking God out of the government and in the public sphere. Therefore, the title of the act is misleading: it should be: Freedom from Religion in Government Offices Act.
Cong. Palatino was quick to add that this bill seeks to ‘empower’ heads of offices and departments to follow strictly the constitutional provision on the freedom of religion, particularly the non-establishment clause,and reminds us that ‘public space is for everybody’ in an interview.

What for?

According to statistics, Christians comprise 81% of the population in the Philippines, with Catholics being 73% of these Christians and about 9% from other Christian denominations. Take away prayers, crosses, religious signs and symbols and portraits, and take away all that remind people of God. How does that make our government officials and employees better public servants?  Would making the public space devoid of religious symbols, a move seen to appease those who do not adhere to the religion be fair for the vast majority who adhere to Christianity?
Cong. Palatino also wishes to do away with the prayer that starts every Congress session.
This move is viewed by many as taking God away from the public sphere. But as many government workers are also religious people, they would find inspiration, solace, consolation, and strength from the various icons, statues, pictures, and symbols found in their offices. Taking them away will certainly not make them better workers.

Unconstitutional

The very preamble of the Constitution renders this bill unconstitutional:

“We, the sovereign Filipino people, imploring the aid of the Almighty God, in order to build a just and humane society…”
Although it may initially seem to enforce the Separation of Church and State by citing the non-establishment clause, it goes against the spirit of the Separation of Church and State that is assured by the 1987 constitution.
The framers of the 1987 constitution, fresh from the 1986 EDSA Revolution, realized that religious freedom plays a vital role in the democratic process of the Philippines. This is why they set up the Separation of Church and State patterned after The United States. Their version was crafted and championed by Thomas Jefferson, who made sure that the government will not endorse a state religion in the US. In essence, therefore, this Separation of Church and state was made to protect the people from the government’s interference into their chosen religion – just like what Cong. Palatino is doing by filing this unconstitutional bill.

Senseless Infatuation with Foreign Ideologies
Why are our solons so infatuated with foreign ideologies? They are supposed to represent the people, but it seems that they now represent foreign powers. First it was the RH bill, then the divorce bill, the anti-discrimination bill, and then this. The United States have outlawed the reading of the bible and saying prayers in schools. This bill filed by Cong. Palatino looks eerily the same measure that is being implemented in the US.
We are Filipinos. We live by Filipino values and sentiments and one of those values is religiosity. We never forget God. Catholics make the Sign of the Cross whenever riding a vehicle or passing by a church. Public or private buildings are often blessed by a priest or a pastor. All fiestas are connected to a religious figure or saint, or in thanksgiving to God for a bountiful harvest. Our great schools and universities were brought here by religious congregations.
These bills being brought forth to Congress for passing are all products of foreign ideologies from countries who have long disregarded the sanctity of life and marriage and the true dignity of the human person. Our Congressmen want to start a slow, downward spiral towards the culture of death. Pro-Life Philippines will do its utmost in order to stem this tide.

Turning Away from God
And there was the 1986 EDSA Revolution, whose success is still highly attributed to Divine Intervention. With all those soldiers and tanks deployed, not a single drop of blood was shed. It was a modern-day miracle brought about people who acknowledged that it was God’s greatness that allowed those days of peaceful and bloodless revolution to transpire, a first in the world.
The miracle of EDSA was a lesson that has never been learned nor understood fully by the Filipino people. It was an event so extraordinary that it came and went and left us awestruck by what we can do. Today, nearly 30 years after the said event, the likes of Cong. Palatino turn their back from God and propose a law that will make sure we do the same.
We can only pray that our leaders be guided by the wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit in order to lead us closer towards God, not away from him.
A Call for the Youth’s True Empowerment
Instead of this useless bill, why can’t Cong. Palatino craft laws that would truly empower our young people? Pro-Life Philippines have a few ideas on how this can be done:

·         Encourage the proliferation of Art and Culture among the young, as well as Science and Technology. From these young minds we will produce the next generation of scientists and artists.
·         Curb the high drop-out rate of Filipino students. Out of those who start studying in elementary, only a small fraction ever make it to college because of various reasons, mostly because of poverty. This exacerbates poverty in turn and this endless cycle can only be ended if we can help the young including the out-of-school youth to go back to school and finish their education.
·         Encourage students to take up extra lessons, whether curricular or extra-curricular, that would make use of their talent and creativity in learning a craft they could use in order to generate extra income and at the same time make them eligible for work even if they only manage to finish High School. Examples are: Machine, automotive, and electronics shops, dressmaking, basket weaving, and computer repair.

Pro-Life Philippines therefore denounces this useless bill filed by Kabataan Partylist representative Raymond Palatino. There are more bills that could be filed that can truly empower the young; this is not one of it. 

MR. ERIC MANALANG                                              SR.PILAR VERZOSA, RGS
       President                                                                                  Founder

Pro-Life Phil. Fdtn. Inc.                                                          Pro-Life Phil. Fdtn. Inc.

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Comments
One Response to “Pro-Life Philippines Position Paper on Rep. Palatino’s HB 6330,”
  1. cactusflower says:

    If this isn’t the height of colonial mentality it will be lack of brain to think of
    other measures representing the people who voted Mr. Palatino.

    Why can’t he just ask the government to pay handsomely an inventor who can eliminate
    use of gasoline in vehicles. If TV shows can shell out millions as prizes for their
    contestants I am sure the government can afford to pay 1 billion to anybody who can
    do the elimination of gasoline in vehicles considering the benefit it will do to our
    country’s dependence on dollars to buy oil from other countries.
    Dumbness? You do the thinking.

    You are right when you said that this is just a benchmark from the US. Wala nang
    maisip, nang gaya na lang. ano tawag dun?

    If we continue to imitate US, we will have the same problems they have: serial
    killers, serial rapists etc. Mr. Palatino could be a fan of Lady Gaga.

    My fellow countrymen, when can we remove the hero worship thinking that we have for
    the country that at most has raped our country for decades?

    atoipanerio

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