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Aquino declares May 12-18 is Nat’l Family and Marriage Week

President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared May 12 to 18, 2014 as the National Family and Marriage Week to protect and strengthen the basic unit of society.

In Proclamation No. 749, the President affirmed that it is the policy of the State to defend the rights of the family and actively work to strengthen its solidarity and promote its development.

“There is a need to promote nationwide awareness that marriage is the natural institution for the transmission of life wherein different generations come together in harmony for the development and well-being of society,” the proclamation read.

The proclamation, issued last April 4, stated that Section 12, Article II of the 1987 Constitution provides that “the State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution.”

Section 2, Article XV of the 1987 Constitution also provides that marriage as an inviolable social institution, is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State, according to the proclamation.

The observance of the family week comes amid the Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the law that provides greater public access to birth control and family-planning education in the predominantly Catholic country. The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 is a priority measure of the Aquino administration despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church.

The court however nullified some of the law’s provisions such as allowing minors access to birth control without a parent’s written consent and penalizing heath workers who fail or refuse to provide information about contraceptives.