is the government willing to risk dividing
the Filipino people and causing a crisis
when it is already faced with many crises?
The RH bill is not even needed to provide
condoms which are already available to
anyone. This is all about money and power.
The western anti-life forces are dishing
out billions of pesos to our corrupt Congressmen
who are more than willing to grab the
money. And the western anti-life forces
are imposing its worldview and agenda
through sheer arrogant use of imperialist
President PNoy better wake up. If his
mother benefited from people power,
he might end up being on the wrong side
of history if God again unleashes people
power against the evil that is the RH
bill to House floor today
been a long way since l4 years ago
By WENDEL VIGILIA
The much-debated reproductive health
bill may not be in the list of Malacañang’s
top 23 priority legislative measures
but it continues to gather steam at
the House of Representatives where plenary
deliberations on the bill start today.
The consolidated measure’s
principal sponsors led by minority leader
Edcel Lagman will take turns in delivering
their sponsorship speeches despite the
strong opposition by the Catholic Church
and other organizations.
It will be a fresh start
for the RH bill which was first filed
in the 8th Congress (1987-1992), during
the time of President Corazon Aquino,
and has been consistently re-filed in
Lagman said that contrary
to what those opposing House Bill 4244
claims, the measure "does not in
any way endorse abortion as a family
planning method nor does it propose
to change the country’s current
laws prohibiting abortion."
Lagman is the author
of House Bill No. 96 or "An Act
Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive
Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population
The consolidated measure
hurdled the House committee on population
and family relations last January after
The bill advocates the
use of artificial contraceptives like
condoms and pills.
The Church, led by the
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines,
wants couples to use only the natural
family planning method.
A vote for the controversial
measure could be political suicide for
some congressmen whose constituents
are mostly Catholics.
Earlier this month,
Northern Samar Rep. Emil Ong withdrew
his support to the measure but denied
that the Catholic Church pressured him
into making the decision.
Ong has said he backtracked
on his earlier position after realizing
that the Department of Health can implement
the programs even without an RH law.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte
Jr. said the RH bill will remain among
the top priorities of the House, especially
since President Aquino has not changed
his position in favor of it.
If passed enacted into
law this year, the RH bill will be temporarily
funded by the Department of Health’s
P731 million budget for "family
health and responsible parenthood."
The Philippine Legislators’
Committee on Population and Development
Foundation (PLCPD) yesterday said it
will continue to hold President Aquino
to his commitment to support the measure.
PLCPD executive director Ramon San Pascual
said Aquino cannot escape his campaign
promise of support to the RH bill.
"At some point,
the President and Malacañang
will have to walk their talk,"
said San Pascual.
He added that they are
hopeful that Aquino will do it soon
enough especially after they were given
assurance by his Cabinet members that
it remains in the program of the government.
who met us told us that even if the
RH bill is not in this LEDAC meeting,
it can still be included in the next
LEDAC," related San Pascual, referring
to his meeting with Health Secretary
Enrique Ona, Social Welfare Secretary
Dinky Soliman, and Presidential spokesman
President Benigno Aquino III convened
the Legislative-Executive Development
Advisory Council (LEDAC), wherein he
is expected to present the proposed
23 priority legislative measures.
According to Executive
Secretary Paquito Ochoa, the RH bill
was not among the 23 measures, which
include the postponement of the Autonomous
Region in Muslim Mindanao elections,
the strengthening of the witness protection
program, and the creation of the Department
of Housing and Urban Development, among
San Pascual said that,
for the moment, they are not so worried
about Malacañang’s exclusion
of the bill since the RH bill is already
"doing well" in Congress.
"We are okay about
it since maganda din naman ang takbo
ng bill sa Congress at sana magtuloy-tuloy
na hanggang Senate," said San Pascual.
To the Catholic Bishops
Conference of the Philippines (CBCP),
non-inclusion of the reproductive health
bill in the Aquino administration’s
23 priority legislative measures is
no longer of moment.
Fr. Melvin Castro, CBCP
Episcopal Commission on Family and Life
(ECFL) executive secretary, said it
is already immaterial whether it is
a priority measure by the administration
or not because it is already up for
debates in the House plenary.
He said this is why
the Catholic Church, the laity and other
pro-life groups are just focusing their
efforts in Congress.
And as part of their
preparation for today’s plenary
debates, Castro said they are looking
to "bombard the heavens with prayers."
He said the CBCP is
not certain if it will be sending representatives
to the plenary proceedings.
"We would rather
have the laity and the multi-sectoral
groups attend so that the legislators
will see the Filipino people regardless
of faith and economic condition,"
Castro explained. – With Gerard
to me to live is Christ, and to die is
gain." (Phil 1:21)