30% ‘sin tax’ for condoms and contraceptive pills?

Here’s the latest data on the Philippine HIV rates from the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health:

The 388 new HIV cases recorded in April were 67 percent higher compared to the 233 recorded during the same month in 2012… the April cases – 368 males and 20 females – have a median age of 28 years, with those in the 20 to 29 age group comprising 61 percent.  Except for 32 drug users who were infected due to needle sharing, all new cases acquired the virus through sexual contact, with male-to-male sex accounting for 81 percent.

The Philippine Reproductive Health Law seeks to prevent HIV rise and other sexually transmitted diseases (Sec IV. Definition of Terms, letter q, no. 5).  So how would the RH law do it? The RH Law would target families, especially the women, by promoting the use of contraceptive pills and condoms.  But nowhere does the RH law talks about homosexuals, and males having sex with males (MSM) account for 80 percent of the new HIV cases!  HIV is a real reproductive health disease and not some fuzzy add-on to the definition of reproductive health such as “”mental and social well-being” and “safe, consensual and satisfying sex life”–things that cannot be measured precisely, unless the government would require women to undergo psychological exams during their menstrual periods and require them also to make a logbook of the times they had intercourse, name of their partners, contraceptives used, and satisfaction rating in a 0 to 100 scale–and these data would be sent to the Office for Safe and Satisfying Sex which would be under either the DOH or the Office of Sen. Pia Cayetano.  Indeed, sex would then be more fun in the Philippines.

That’s why I believe that the RH Law is not really about women’s reproductive health but population control by promotion of promiscuity, with the Philippine government-ensured promise of safe sex.  If the government is intent on stopping HIV rise, the answer is not giving condoms for free to gays and their boy toys, but to educate them on the risks of the homosexual act.  It is ironic that the government increases “sin taxes” on liquor and cigarettes, claiming that these are bad for your health, while on the other hand saying nothing about MSM, fornication, and adultery which are not only bad for the sexual health (you can get HIV or AIDS), but also bad according to the RH Law’s all-encompassing definition of reproductive health:

(p) Reproductive Health (RH) refers to the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. This further implies that women and men attain equal relationships in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction.

The reason for this is that MSM, fornication, and adultery destroys the family, which is the bedrock of our country. These are mental and social ills–things that should not be promoted with government funding but rather should be discouraged and disapproved through additional taxes and forbidding their advertisements in TVs, radios, train stations, movie houses, billboards, and other public places.  In this task, the government would have a major ally: the Catholic Church.

MSM is bad for the health, just like liquor, cigarettes, and chemical contraceptives. That is why condoms for MSM and contraceptive pills for women should have health warnings, such as the following:

“Condoms do not prevent the spread of HIV and 80% of males having sex with males acquire HIV.  Use this condom at your own risk  Note that a used condom is a medical waste.  These should be placed in sealed plastic bags and given to authorized government health personnel for proper disposal.  Note that each purchase of a condom pack already includes a sin tax of 30 percent.  This is for the proper disposal of your used condoms.  Unauthorized disposal of medical waste will be prosecuted accordingly.”

“This contraceptive pill has many side effects like head-aches and irregular monthly cycles.  At worse, you can’t have a baby again.  Use at your own risk.  Note that a sin tax of 30% was included in your purchase of the contraceptive pill.  This is for the cleaning of the environmental pollution of our creeks and rivers where your chemical-rich urine will go which can potentially make fishes gay and unable to reproduce.”

If the government would not buy condoms and pills, then the Church has no problem with the RH Law.  Let those who need them buy them with their own money and at their own risk with an additional 30% tax, instead of taxing Catholics who cannot use condoms and pills in good conscience.  In this way, the RH Law would not need any budget, because it would be able to earn its funding from the 30 % sin taxes for condoms and pills.  And oh, haven’t I yet mentioned about giving another 30% additional importation tarriff for condoms and pills? Thus, let us pass the RH Law and give it a Php 1 budget.

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Sen. Sotto’s plagiarism and the parable of the boiled frog: RH Bill first then abortion

Sen. Tito Sotto

Sen. Tito Sotto

Senator Sotto has been attacked from all sides because of his opposition to the RH Bill. And the attacks are now more vicious: they focus on his character as the dumb student in Iskul Bukol and they ask him to step down because of plagiarism.

Let us ponder on this: the truth of a statement is never diminished whether it was copied without citation from another person’s work. I can copy and paste the arguments of St. Aquinas without attribution, but the truth of what he wrote remains true. What does the Pro-RH groups fear in Sen. Sotto that they focus on his character and not on the arguments he propose? This is not the mark of reasonable and honorable men. “O judgment! Thou art fled to brutish beasts, and men have lost their reason.” (Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 2). Pardon me, my heart is in the podium where the good Senator stands and my heart shall stay with him until this persecution lasts.

Pro-RH grops accuse Sen. Sotto of plagiarism but not Sen. Pia Cayetano who also plagiarized. The judgement for Sen. Sotto should also be the judgment for Sen. Cayetano because they are both senators of the land and they committed the same offense. As Christ said, “For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” (Mt 7:2).

I think it is high time for media and for all of us to focus on Sen. Sotto’s allegations that local and international pro-abortion groups are behind the Pro-RH Bill lobby: USAID, UN agencies, International Planned Parenthood (the largest abortion provider in the world), Family Planning Organizations of the Philippines, Reproductive Health Advocacy Network, Likhaan (which has a website with instructions on how to do abortions as revealed by Pinoy Templars), and Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines. As one meme says: if the RH Bill is against abortion, then why are pro-abortion groups supporting it? Maybe they know something that many of us don’t: the first step to establish an abortion industry in a country is to establish the contraception industry.

Here’s a parable based on the Boiling Frog Syndrome (it is not really true so I am making a story instead):

Fili the Frog loves cold ponds and hates hot springs. But one day, a farmer caught Fili and placed him in a basin of cold water.  Fili swam and enjoyed the cold water.  Then the farmer slowly added heat below the basin, one burning charcoal at a time. Fili felt something is wrong, but he shrugged it off from his thoughts.  “I barely noticed anything,” he said.  “It is just as hot as it was a minute ago.”  So Fili the Frog stayed in the basin and died.

The moral of the story is this: Filipinos do not support abortion and the abortion lobby knows this.  But if the government makes contraceptives freely available through the passage of the RH Bill, then Filipinos will believe that babies are burden and contraceptives lessens the possibility for babies to happen.  Filipinos will then see pregnancy as a sign of failure and they will tell the pregnant woman, “hindi ka kasi nag-ingat” or “that’s because you were not careful”.  Pregnancy becomes a disease; condoms and contraceptive pills become  “essential medicines” to cure this disease.  And as this contraception mentality grows, abortion becomes accepted as a recourse for contraceptive failures.  And the abortion lobby becomes happy: it is now back in business. Yet is is still an underground business.

To recoup its investments from its advocacy (propaganda) work, the abortion lobby will then ask congressmen and senators to amend the RH Bill further to include abortion for very special cases like rape and incest.  If nobody objects to the bill, all reasons for abortion will be made acceptable, especially if the reason is “reproductive health” as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and cited without attribution in the RH Bill HB 4244: “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Slowly, very slowly, the abortion lobby heats the basin and boils the Filipino frog to death.

Such a catch-all definition for the “reproductive health” does not discriminate (this is a bad word in our politically correct  society but I am using it in its proper and original definition of knowing the subtle distinctions between things such as discriminating the wheat from the chaff): reproductive health is mental health is social well-being.  It’s a fuzzy logic.  This is why women in the Western countries will ask for abortion even for flimsiest emotional excuses, because emotional health is part of reproductive health.  A blurred definition results to a blurred mind and the result is moral chaos.  The world has turned upside down.  Women cannot anymore distinguish their bodies from that of their children in their womb; yet they would raise placards in the streets to protect turtle eggs and baby sharks. This blurring of the mind is also seen in lawmakers: they would insist that abortion is a right even though it is wrong, that fetuses less than 20 weeks old are not yet humans, and that a conception only begins when the fertilized ovum is planted in the uterine walls.   That is what we get when we play loose with definitions.  Words matter.

Let me end with a quote from Fr. John A Hardon, SJ:

It must seem strange to call anything our “gravest moral responsibility.” There are so many moral problems in the world today. How can any one of them pose our gravest responsibility. But so it is. In my judgment, the contraception mentality is the single deepest issue facing Western society.

I call it the contraception mentality. But we could just as well call it the contraception ideology. It was centuries in the making. It is devastating in its consequences. And it is at the root of the massive assault on the human family. Nothing less is at stake than the survival of Western, and with emphasis, American society.

And this also holds for the Filipino society.  So let us junk the RH bill.