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No. 29 • July - December 1999 • Page 277
 •  Initiatives

Manila, Philippines (International Family Congress)

The First Asian and Pacific International Congress on the Family was held on August 13 and 14 in Manila. The congress, attended by 1300 people from ten countries around the world, was organized by the Educhild Foundation. Educhild was begun by a group of married couples to provide classes of family orientation based on the case study method.

Speakers from the United States, France, Spain and the Philippines addressed the need for a regeneration of the family nucleus in order to reestablish values and virtues and to confront the crisis in today’s society. Dr. Bernardo Villegas, Dean of the School of Economics of the University of Asia and the Pacific, pointed out that the decline in population, with the consequent increase in the proportion of old people, is not a positive factor even in those countries with a high standard of living. Professor Jean-Didier Lecaillon, an economist from the University of Paris at Val de Varne, pointed out that the family is the best catalyst and producer of human capital. Professor Lecaillon also pointed out that the peace and welfare of the family should be a top priority of economists, politicians and government officials.

The congress, which was opened by Manila’s mayor, Jose Atienza Jr., concluded with the approval of a “Manila Declaration on the Family.” The members of the congress agreed in this declaration that family life must be cultivated and enriched as an indispensable condition for personal and collective development in society. One of the items in the declaration encouraged the collaboration between parents and their children’s schools.

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