RH Bill advocates: Where are the lawmakers?

The RH Bill was a hot topic last year. But it might not get through the legislative wringer.

MANILA, Philippines – Pass it before you get busy with next year’s elections.

Groups backing the Reproductive Health Bill made this appeal to lawmakers on Friday, March 2, even as they expressed concern that the RH Bill would once again be sidelined since the election season is now approaching.

“Time is of the essence. 2013 is an election year so we have to get them to vote now before they get busy with the elections,” Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said in a press conference.

Agham party-list Rep Angelo Palmones complained that for the past 5 weeks, the House of Representatives has not convened due to lack of quorum. 

He said that only a few legislators attend the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona at the Senate, yet the rest don’t show up at the House. “The RH bill and other important bills have not been acted upon because there has been no quorum for the past 5 weeks. Where are these congressmen?”

Dr Junice Demetrio-Melgar, Reproductive Health Advocacy Network secretary general, said the continued inaction of many legislators on the RH Bill is “very frustrating.”

“Eleven mothers die every day while giving life.  Is it not enough for them to act?” she pointed out.

The Aquino administration has vowed to push for the bill, but the Catholic Church has responded with a fierce lobby against it.

Commission on Population deputy executive director Rose Marcelino said that having a law on reproductive health will create an “enabling environment” that would address problems on maternal and child health.

Because of the lack of “stable and consistent population policies,” Marcelino said projects tend to depend largely on positions taken by those sitting in government. – Rappler.com

For more updates on the issue of the RH Bill, view our #RHBill Debate Microsite

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