Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has decided to intensify their campaign against the controversial RH Bill bringing their advocacy from pulpit to cyberspace, public stickers and tarpaulins, and just recently television and print advertisements.
CBCP secretary-general Monsignor Juanito Figura announced during the celebration of the 43rd anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae (Human Life) last Friday that they would strengthen the campaign against RH bill.
From street protests, prayer rallies and debates, CBCP will soon bring the campaign on TV and print ads which will also be shown before church Masses.
“We are coming out with TV ads even with our meager income. Maybe you would see the ad not on television, but on the Church projectors before Masses because we are spreading these TV ads exponentially by using our very own network and our resources,” Figura said as quoted by a report on CBCP News website.
He added that there are people who are trying to talk with media companies knowing that coming out with commercials can be quite expensive.
Aside from the ads, CBCP also launched various campaign materials like stickers and tarpaulins. Stickers showing a yellow smiley with texts “I am pro-life. I am anti-RH bill” will be placed in several parish churches across the country and shall be distributed to public.
Monsignor Figura agrees that smile can influence others, and it also conveys how the Catholic Church conducts its mission.
In the same report by CBCP news, “Maybe we can summarize the position of the Church as it continues to do its campaign against the RH, it is peaceful, friendly campaign and we are saying that we are pro-life and we are anti-RH with a smile,” he stated during a press briefing at the CBCP office in Intramuros, Manila.
“You will see stickers displayed on vehicles. We would place stickers that are more friendly because we are actually not adversarial, not against anybody in particular, not against any group in particular but against the RH bill specifically so we are doing this mission with a smile,” the CBCP’s secretary general added.
Anti-RH tarpaulins, some of which has an image of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal will likewise be posted on public places.
“He is not only our national hero but this year we celebrate his 150th birth anniversary. He has always been known for his works and he always said that the youth is the future of the nation,” he said.
“If we teach our youth today the wrong values about life, if we teach the youth today on the wrong values about society and the family what will they become when they become adults and leaders of the nation in the future?” the CBCP official points out the message of the church on the value of human life to the faithful.
Monsignor Figura clarified the funds from for this campaign will not be shouldered by CBCP.
“There are people who are helping us. This did not come from the CBCP, we do not have a budget for this… We do not have a fund-raising for this, compared to those who are advocating the RH bill whose operations are well-funded…” “We would just do the right thing according to the resources of the Church.” He jokingly add that they would just “appeal for discounts.”
Prior to the ads, stickers and tarpaulins, CBCP on Wednesday launched cbcpforlife.com, a website to intensify their campaign against birth control measures.
Figura said the Catholic hierarchy hopes the website will help guide the people on “current issues on family and life” such as the RH Bill.
In a report by GMA News, CBCP insisted the site is about life and the family.
CBCP spokesman Msgr. Pedro Quitorio III said they decided to make use of the internet not only because of its wide reach but also because this is where most of the “war against life” is taking place.
“I might be wrong, but about 85 percent of that happens on the internet not really on radio, television or print. You’ll see a lot of that in social networking sites,” he said as quoted by the report.
cbcpforlife.com contains content including an article claiming the Episcopal Church joins the Catholics in rejecting the RH bill; a pastoral letter on the life of the unborn child; and materials from various organizations, even from non-catholics.
“This is a collaborative work of many institutions and individuals who believe in the worthy cause of building an ‘online databank’ of multimedia resources”, Quitorio added.
CBCP’s spokesman also noted that while archiving, documenting and data banking are the prominent features of the website, it also has a pool of journalists, bloggers, podcasters and social networkers “who are committed to come up with news stories and features on life and the family on a daily basis.”
Figura further noted the website is just another avenue for them to preach and spread the word of God saying, “This is just one of the avenues through which we can continue to preach…even during the time of Pope Paul VI, he started to call the media as the extension of the pulpit,”.
The portal also include an invitation to join the “Batasan Watch” and to “witness and pray at the Battleground,” referring to the debates on the RH bill at the Congress.
Meanwhile, advocates of Pro RH bill have successfully held an event on San Pablo, Laguna last July 19 called “ Laguna speak for RH: A forum for the passage of RH Bill” to unitedly call for the immediate passage of the bill.
The arguments on the controversial bill will likely heat up once the House of Representatives session resumes on Monday.