PNGOC in partnership with IPPRP conducted a forum to express the emotions of various faith based organizations on the issue on the Reproductive Health Bill. Led by Bishop Rodrigo Tano of the Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood together with Bob Guerrero of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines, Mel Domingo of United Pagans Philippines, Rev Ceejay Agbayani of the Metropolitan Community Church, Ms. Bicbic Chua of Catholics for RH, Marlon Toledo Lacsamana-Labilles of the Queer Pagan Network, Ara Bellang and Mona Adam from the Muslim faith, they all expressed their dismay for the slow and non committal of congresspersons to deliberate and vote on the RH bill.
Bishop Tano said “I felt a strong outrage against the lawmakers and Church hierarchy opposing and stalling the legislative process for unreasonable and senseless reasons.”
“I believe that this show of force for the RH BILL can help congresspersons realize that the Philippines has various faith based groups and that most of them supports the passage of the RH bill” added by Dr. Divinagracia.
Marlon Lacsamana of the Queer Pagan Network added “the Church hierarchy is not the only one entitled to religious indignation.”
Rev Ceejay of MMC shared “Nirerespeto natin ang pananaw at paniniwala ng Simbahang Katoliko at iba pang mga grupo sa kanilang paglaban at pagtanggi sa RH Bill. Pero pinapaalalahanan natin sila na walang KARAPATAN ang simbahan at anu mang religious organization ang manakot, mang-intimidate at gamitin ang pulpit upang impluwensyahan ang mga polesiya ng gobyerno lalo na kung ito ay tumatalakay sa basic human rights and basic human dignity as declared by the universal humans ng United Nations. Dapat ng ipasa ang RH Bill. Ito ay matagal ng nakabinbin. Ito ay nararapat lang na mapasa na! Bigyan ng dignidad ang mga kababaihang Pilipino lalong lalo na ang mahihirap. Ibigay ang tulong at dignindad sa pamilyang Pilipino. Ipasa at ipatupad ang RH Bill! Kung hindi ngayon kelan? PASS THE RH BILL!! NOW NA!”
Ms. Bicbic Chua of C4RH said that “C4RH believes that the Catholic faith upholds social justice and human rights, respects freedom and self-determination, promotes and practices fairness, and defends the dignity and value of individuals, of families and children, especially the poor and marginalized. These values are embodied in our members’ pledge of commitment. Again we at the Catholics for Reproductive Health believe that the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health bill will save lives and improve the Filipino families’ quality of life.”
Finally, Bishop Tano said beyond presscons, press releases and fora, we need to express rage and organize pressure groups to urge Congress to deliberate and VOTE ON THE RH BILL!
To show support for the interfaith call, Congresspersons led by Ms. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel of AKBAYAN Partylist and Cong. Abigail Ferriol of Kalinga Partylist came and supported the various calls for RH VOTE NOW!