MANILA, DECEMBER 24, 2012 (PHILSTAR) President Aquino yesterday reminded Filipinos about the essential gifts that could not be wrapped this Christmas: God’s everlasting love, selflessness, honesty and concern for others.

In his Christmas message, Aquino said Filipinos are known to have the longest Christmas celebration in the world, with the excitement building up as early as September because of gifts given and received and feasts to be shared with the family.

“But Christmas’ true meaning can’t be boxed in gifts, in lavish banquets or colorful decorations. In the middle of our celebrations, let us remember the stories about Christmas,” he said.

Aquino said Christmas was about the birth of Jesus to save humanity from sin, the strangers’ opening of doors for Joseph and Mary, the parents of Jesus, so they could spend the night in a manger, the three kings who traveled a long way just to offer their gifts to the Holy Child and, most of all, God’s eternal love for His children.

The President said this season was an opportune time to be thankful for everything that the country had achieved with the cooperation of the people.

“In behalf of the whole government, I thank all Filipinos who contributed to the formation of a culture of honesty and deep concern for others,” he said.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1 Because of extraordinary strides along the straight path, Aquino said Christmas has become more meaningful for Filipinos.

The President said the people remain the strength of the government.

“It is clear: Every grain of success we harvest is from the hard work planted by the people. You, our bosses, made this happen,” he said.

Aquino added that all these gains mirror the true meaning of Christmas: giving, humility and love for others.

“We have proven to the world over and over again: Christmas in the Philippines is unique because of our readiness to become the light to our fellowmen, not only during Christmas but in the everyday treading of the straight path,” he said.

Lagman: RH Law is Noy’s best Christmas gift to Pinoys By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 24, 2012 - 12:00am

[PHOTO -Obviously relieved, RH bill sponsors Pia Cayetano (for the Senate) and Edcel Lagman (House) hug each other after the signing of the bicameral panel report. PHOTO FROM SEN. PIA CAYETANO'S OFFICE]

MANILA, Philippines - The enactment of the Reproductive Health (RH) law is the “best essential gift” President Aquino and Congress have given to Filipinos “this Christmas and many more Christmases to come,” Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said yesterday.

“The RH statute will enable millions of couples and women to be true to their desire of having smaller families as they are empowered to freely and responsibly determine the number and spacing of their children,” he said.


“Also gifted are mothers and infants since maternal and infant mortality rates will be considerably reduced because high-risk, unwanted and unintended pregnancies, which are most prone to maternal death, abortion and unhealthy offspring, are prevented,” he added.

Lagman, the principal author of the RH bill in the House of Representatives, added that there are currently 14 to 15 mothers who die daily due to complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth.

“The harrowing experience of women who suffer forced abortion because they could not afford another child will be diminished by as much as 85 percent since they are given access to legal, medically-safe and effective voluntary contraception,” he said.

The lawmaker pointed out that the poor would have access to free family planning methods and contraception by choice so they could have fewer children and ease their poverty.

“Mass poverty is inextricably linked to high fertility rates, which result in high population growth rates and the stunting of human development,” he said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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