What ‘yes’ to RH bill means for Senate bets in the House
MANILA, Philippines - Of the 5 senatorial candidates in the 2013 elections who are incumbent members of the House of Representatives, 3 voted in favor of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill when it was passed on 2nd reading early Thursday, December 13.
The biggest surprise came from Cagayan Rep Juan "Jack" Ponce Enrile Jr, who voted yes to the RH Bill even if his father, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, is one of the most rabid opponents of the measure.
The other two senatorial bets who voted in favor of House Bill 4244 were Aurora Rep Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara and Bayan Muna Rep Teddy Casiño.
Whether they voted according to personal convictions or for political reasons, what does a "yes" to the RH Bill mean for these 3 senatorial aspirants?
If a Social Weather Station survey in Metro Manila in October would be any indication, these candidates might just get the vote of 29% of young registered voters in the National Capital Region.
Commissioned by the Forum for Family Planning and Development, the survey had 1,200 respondents from Metro Manila who were 15-19 years old. Of these respondents, 35% were of voting age.
Among those who are registered voters, 29% said they would vote for senatorial candidates who are in favor of the RH bill, while 6% said they would vote for those who are opposed to the measure. Sixty-four percent, though, said the candidates' stand on the RH bill would not affect their vote.
Another report, citing a more recent Social Weather Service national survey found that 33% of 1,200 adult respondents will vote for a pro-RH senatorial bet, compared to 9% who would choose an anti-RH candidate.
The said survey, however, has not been published on the SWS website as of this posting.
Angara is running under the administration Liberal Party-Nacionalista Party-Nationalist People's Coalition (LP-NP-NPC) slate while Casiño is the lone senatorial bet of the Makabayan Coalition, an alliance of lefist party-list groups.
Enrile's fellow United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidates, San Juan Rep JV Ejercito and Zambales Rep Mitos Magsaysay both voted against the measure. UNA is the so-called "constructive opposition" in the 2013 polls.
Meanwhile, how the relatives of some senatorial candidates voted on the RH Bill could provide an indication of their stand on the measure that seeks to provide free reproductive health information and services like contraceptives.
The sister of UNA candidate Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, Makati Rep Mar-Len Binay, voted yes.
The son of LP-NP-NPC bet Cynthia Villar and Sen Manny Villar, Las Piñas Rep Mark Villar, also voted yes.
A 2010 Pulse Asia survey revealed that 69% of Filipinos were in favor of the Reproductive Health Bill. - Rappler.com