Press Release
September 14, 2010

Cayetano urges state funds for orphans to address rising cases of abortion

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano raised his concern on the increasing number of fetus found on dumpsites in recent years due to unplanned pregnancies, mostly of poor mothers.

Sen. Cayetano wants the Senate bill providing for a national program to 'support and care for abandoned, neglected and voluntary committed children through a special trust fund' passed.

He argued that, " it is the primary role and duty of parents before God and before man to take care of their children." These are shown by the parents' sacrifice to work hard to ensure a bright future for their children by giving them education and health care.

He said the government should address the growing number of abortion by providing opportunities to poor mothers who have unplanned pregnancy.

The government, he said can provide adequate intervention by creating a national program to support and care for orphaned, abandoned, neglected and voluntary-committed children.

Poor mothers who often resort to abortion as well as those forced to have their children adopted by friends and strangers should be given choices to avail of these benefits. At the same time, children completely abandoned or neglected should still have access to full social and health benefits under the program to allow them to grow as responsible individuals, he said.

" But what happens when the parents abandon and neglect their children?," asked Sen. Cayetano. " Even worse, is when poor mothers are forced to resort to unsafe abortion because of their unplanned pregnancy."

The measure aims to allocate a trust fund account for each orphaned, abandoned, neglected, voluntarily committed minor under child caring institutions accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and care centers where the government has to infuse resources by quarterly depositing a special amount for each of the trust fund account.

The trust fund account matures when the orphaned, abandoned, neglected or voluntarily committed minor reaches the age of maturity, thus providing him/her some seed money to the face the challenges of life.

The government, he explained should create a " stronger mechanism to provide for the needs of the orphaned, abandoned, neglected or voluntarily committed children, who, like the other children of their age would also need parental support and guidance so they may grow up someday to be morally upright individuals and civic minded citizens of our country."

" If the government can create an environment where it can take full responsibility to care for the orphaned , abandoned, neglected and voluntarily-committed children, then mothers will no longer take the risk of killing their unborn children, thus stopping the chilling trend of seeing fetus dumped like garbage around Metro Manila," said Sen. Cayetano, stressing the state has a duty to "protect the sanctity of life and to encourage people to respect life as God's gift."

In 2005, official estimates put annual abortions at 400,000 to 500,000, and rising. The World Health Organization estimate puts the figure at nearly 800,000, one of the highest rates of unsafe abortions in Asia.

Seventy percent of unwanted pregnancies in the Philippines end in abortion said Jean-Marc Olivé, a former country representative of the World Health Organization. One of four pregnancies in the Philippines end in abortion, according to Pro-Life Philippines, an anti-abortion group.

About 4 in 5 abortions in the Philippines are for economic reasons, according to a survey by the University of the Philippines. In many cases, said Jocelyn Pacete, a spokeswoman for Likhaan, a women's health group based in Manila, "the mother can't afford another child, so ends up choosing her five living children over the fetus in her womb."

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