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MANILA, Philippines – “As President Aquino asked, our representatives voted according to conscience.”
The Palace on Monday evening, December 17, hailed the approval of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill on third and final reading in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Enjoying high trust and approval ratings, President Benigno Aquino III used his political capital to push for the bill and certify it as urgent.
The two chambers of Congress separately voted to approve the RH bill on Monday evening.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda thanked senators and congressmen who voted to approve the RH bill. Lacierda particularly cited House Speaker Sonny Belmonte, Majority Floor Leader Boyet Gonzales, Representative Edcel Lagman, and Senator Pia Cayetano, who have backed the proposed law.
“They have made it even clearer: The people now have the government on their side as they raise their families in a manner that is just and empowered,” Lacierda said.
Lacierda described debates on the RH bill, which the Catholic Church has vehemently protested, as heated. “Despite this, our legislators fulfilled their duties with honor: they crafted a law that can truly address the needs of our people.”
He said the bill’s passage “signals not only a new chapter in our agenda of inclusive growth; it also begins a process of healing for the wounds that may have been opened by an often feisty democracy.” – Rappler.com