Is Catholic Church’s influence in Philippines fading?

Photo by Dondi Tawatao via bbc.com

Photo by Dondi Tawatao via bbc.com

via bbc.com – The Catholic church plays a powerful role in the Philippines but last month it lost a significant battle in its bid to prevent a government-backed family planning programme. Aurora Almendral asks if the church is losing its grip on the islands.

In the last five years, Jennievic Betana, who is just 24 years old, has been pregnant four times.

She lives with her three surviving children in a small, crumbling cement-block house together with two brothers and husband, Buboy, in the vast slum of Bagong Silang in northern Manila.

Buboy, a barber, earns about 300 pesos (£4, $7) a day, two-thirds of which goes to feeding the family. The burden of the extra mouths to feed is considerable.

To avoid adding to their family, Jennievic and her husband rely on the calendar method, an arrangement that nevertheless resulted in the last two unplanned pregnancies.

A practising Catholic, Jennievic knows that contraception is a sin in the eyes of the church, but says she is willing to take the spiritual risk for more immediate financial concerns.

“I want to use birth control,” Jennievic says, “but after paying for food, electricity and water, there’s nothing left. I’ll use it, even though I know it’s a sin.

“If [the Church] were to help us once the children are here, then sure, I’ll have more children. But they don’t.”

Jennievic’s story is typical of many in the Philippines which has one of the highest population growth rates in Asia.

Currently, the country is adding nearly two million people every year to its 100-million-strong population. This is putting a massive strain on resources, especially for the poorest among whom much of the recent growth has been concentrated.

There is also the issue of illegal abortions, of which there are an estimated 600,000 a year. Some 90,000 of the women having these procedures are later hospitalised and about 1,000 die.

FULL STORY

Find more like this: Religion

  • The women who helped shape Philippine feminism
  • How to Retire in the Philippines
  • This play tells the urgent story of a Filipino comfort woman
  • Oops: Kare-kare, lechon, and crispy pata are the real placers in ‘Best Dishes In The World’ 2019 list
  • A peek into the Revised Corporation Code of the Philippines
  • Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

    Entertainment

  • This play tells the urgent story of a Filipino comfort woman
  • Will ‘Sahaya’ be the first Pinoy series on Netflix?
  • Z-GIRLS, Z-BOYS with Pinoy members to debut in Korea
  • Marvel Comics introduces new characters; Filipino superhero to make waves
  • ‘The first Pixnoys’: Filipinos will finally see themselves in Pixar short film
  • MORE...

    Features

  • Showcase of PH culture, heritage
  • US and Philippines: Friends, Partners, and Allies
  • A Transgender Paradox, and Platform, in the Philippines
  • The Box That Brings Christmas to the Philippines
  • ‘Pinoy Aquaman’ swims 23 kilometers for peace in Mindanao
  • MORE...

    Tourism

  • Philippines records ‘all-time high’ 7.1M tourist arrivals in 2018
  • Philippines island Boracay reopens for test run following huge cleanup
  • Philippines closes ‘cesspool’ tourist island of Boracay
  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • MORE...

    Sports

  • Filipino speed skater bags spot in 2020 Winter Youth Olympics
  • Pinoy gymnast Carlo Yulo earns historic qualification in worlds
  • Finding a way to bring the NBA to the Philippines
  • First Filipino table tennis Olympian Ian “Yanyan” Lariba dies at 23
  • Skateboarder Margielyn Didal wins 4th gold for Philippines
  • MORE...

    OFW News

  • DOLE suspends OFW deployment to Kuwait
  • Some OFWs turn to vlogging to beat loneliness, share life abroad
  • Overseas Filipino Bank to serve immigrants, workers
  • The ‘bagong bayani’ of the Philippines
  • Which countries pay OFWs the highest?
  • MORE...

    Environment

  • Boracay Set to Ban Tourists for Six Months During Island ‘Rehabilitation’
  • Boracay: the good, bad and ugly sides to Philippine island for tourists
  • Luzon has greatest concentration of unique mammals
  • Mindanao plants 3M trees in an hour, challenges world record
  • Fighting for sharks in the Philippines
  • MORE...

    Pinoy Places
    and Faces