MANILA (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III has declared May 12-18, 2014 as National Family and Marriage Week, coinciding with the Asian Conference on the Family to be held in Manila on May 13-16.
In declaring the special week, the President cited the constitutional provisions on the family and marriage: 1) the State recognizes the sanctity of family life, and that it shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution; and 2) marriage as an inviolable institution is the foundation of the family and shall be protected by the State.
The declaration also stated 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.
The President added that 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 Asian Conference on the Family will gather delegates from Asia to discuss how the Charter on the Rights of the Family which was promulgated by Saint John Paul II in 1983 has been received and lived, understood and promoted after three decades.
Bishop Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family of the Holy See, will deliver keynote addresses during the four-day conference, the first to educators and catechists at Paco Catholic School auditorium on May 13 and to legislators and politicians at the Diamond Hotel.
The conference will begin on May 14 at 2:00 p.m. at the Pius XII Catholic Center auditorium where Antipolo Bishop Gabriel V. Reyes, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, will deliver the welcome address.
Major talks and discussions will be held on May 15 including the keynote address by Bishop Laffitte at 8:30 a.m.; the Implementation of the Charter of the Rights of the Family vis-à-vis the UN and Asian Setting (Philippines) by Atty. Luisito Liban; The Defense of the Rights of the Family Against the Contemporary Totalitarian Tendencies of the State by Fr. Shenan Boquetl, president of Human Life International; Lessons and Successes in Harmonizing Legislation and Culture with the Gospel by delegates from Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and other Asian countries; Transmission of Faith through Communities of Families by Francisco and Geraldine Padilla with testimonies by Typhoon Yolanda survivors, Msgr. Bernardo R. Pantin and Dr. and Mrs. Ernesto Lajara and Indian missionaries to Africa Tony and Maria Correia.
A Festival of Families for about 5,000 will cap the conference on May 16 at 6:00 p.m. at the Quadricentennial Pavilion of the University of Santo Tomas.
The event is being organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Pontifical Council for the Family of the Holy See.