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Presidential Palace annoyed by Valentine's Day condom project.

Byline: Gilbert P. Felongco

Manila The Presidential Palace yesterday expressed surprise over reports that an agency had been giving away condoms for free in time for Valentine's Day. It stressed that such activity is scandalous and goes against the Philippine government's policy against artificial contraception.

"It is only now that I have heard of such a programme. The government has no programme to give away condoms," Ricardo Saludo, deputy presidential spokesman told the government station Radyo ng Bayan yesterday following reports that the Department of Health (DoH) had been giving away free condoms in Manila.

Television reports said the DoH had been distributing condoms for free in the Dangwa Flower Market in the Sampaloc district.

Although Valentine's Day is not a local holiday, Filipinos consider the day very important.

The condom project is part of the DoH's drive against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases under the aeIngat Lagi, My Valentine programme' (Always be careful, my Valentine partner).

Although the use of contraceptives like condoms intend to address government concerns over the spread of sexually transmissible diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies, the Gloria Arroyo administration has been very careful about endorsing its use for fear of a backlash from the conservative Roman Catholic Church.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Feb 14, 2010
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