P-Noy pushes for RH Bill passage, snubs Freedom of Information Bill
(SPOT.ph) President Noynoy Aquino endorsed the Reproductive Health Bill as a priority measure at a meeting with the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) yesterday, August 16, reports GMA News. Aquino, who calls it "Responsible Parenthood Bill," also proposed several amendments for the controversial legislation.
Some of the proposed revisions were the deletion of the two-child policy, changing the appropriate age for sex education to 11 years old, and giving parents the option to conduct sex education talks themselves, among others. In line with the freedom of religion clause of the Constitution, Church-based hospitals also carry the right to distribute artificial and family-planning methods within their jurisdiction.
RH Bill supporters lauded Aquino’s move and considered it favorable on their part. "The endorsement of the President is an upright decision and in accordance with his vision of matuwid na daan. Political will as exemplified by our nation's leader is the missing link we have been longing for a faster and more progressive take-off from poverty," said Iloilo Rep. Janet Garin, one of the bill’s main authors, in a separate GMA report. The report also mentioned that other legislators like House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo are relieved that the issue could potentially be settled in the near future.
However, RH Bill detractors believe the fight is far from over. Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay said Malacañang's priority does not necessarily reflect the priorities of Filipinos. "Intense lobbying of pro-RH groups won this round, but it doesn't mean that it is what the people want," she said in the GMA report. Meanwhile, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the upper house will be hard-pressed to approve the bill-if it gets approved at all. "I think we cannot assume that we will pass that in a very short period. It will take a full blown debate in the Senate," Enrile said in an ABS-CBN report.
As for another controversially pending law, the Freedom of Information Bill, which was noticeably excluded in the LEDAC meeting, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told Interaksyon there are still several points surrounding the issue that the Palace needs to address.
For more on this story, log on to GMA News, ABS-CBN News, and Interaksyon.
President Aquino prioritized the Reproductive Health Bill during yesterday’s Ledac meeting