While officiating the oath-taking of officials of Negros Occidental as new members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said he instructed his staff to prepare a draft bill on same-sex marriage because he wanted to sponsor it.
This came at the heels of Alvarez pushing for a 300% hike in the allocation for reproductive health care in next year’s national budget to help curb population growth. Alvarez joked that same-sex marriage would be a natural way to control the population.
Alvarez noted that Malaysia, which has a territory nearly the same size as the Philippines, has a population of only 32 million, less than 1/3rd of Philippines’ more than 100 million population. “No matter what we do, poverty will be hard to address if we don’t manage our population effectively,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez similarly said that this move is not an affront to the Roman Catholic Church, which advocates natural family planning methods. Instead, “if they are not doing anything to help the government address the problems of poverty… the best thing they could do is to keep quiet and let the government do its duty and obligation to the people,” he said, adding that poverty could be addressed with proper population management.
In the 2016 General Appropriations Act, the budget for reproductive health care was cut by P1 billion (from P3.2 billion to P2.2 billion), largely because of the push of legislators who oppose the Reproductive Health Law.
Alvarez belongs to the same political party as Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte.