A group of women working for the passage of the controversial reproductive health bill vow to troop to the House of Representatives (HOR) which starts the plenary debates on the measure today.
Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chair of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), a national group of about 300 community-based organizations said, ‘We are pleased that the RH bill is already on the floor and the interpellation is to begin much earlier than in previous Congresses. This bill’s passage is crucial to our members who are without access to the information and services provided by the bill. We will be at the HOR everytime the bill is subjected to interpellation until it is enacted by Congress. We will be watching how representatives of the people conduct themselves in relation with the measure.’
The DSWP is among organizations that have been advocating for the bill since it was first filed. ‘We know how in previous Congresses the bill was delayed and blocked. We have seen how anti-RH legislators who give more importance on what the bishops say than what actually happen to poor women, work against the bill. We already know the tactics they use,’ continued Angsioco.
As to what the women intend to do should the bill is again continuously blocked by oppositors, she has this to say, ‘There will be hundreds of community women each session that the RH bill will be discussed. We are ready to protest continuously as well. Together with other advocates, we will expose who among the legislators are working against our welfare, the tactics they do to abstruct the bill, even those that border on absurdity. We will show the Filipino people who are doing what and we will continue to demand accountability from those who ignore us.’
‘People are now aware of the importance of the RH bill in saving women’s lives. More and more Filipinos are becoming vocal about their frustrations about the obstructionism that goes on against the bill. We will be the eyes and ears of those unable to attend Congressional sessions and we will not stop until this crucial bill is passed,’ ended Angsioco.