A leading proponent of the highly clamored Reproductive Health (RH) bill expressed disappointment over P-Noy’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) sans RH mention.
According to Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), advocates were hoping that President Aquino will translate his position of support, heard in various occasions and interviews, into a concrete action by urging Congress to immediately vote on the proposed RH measure.
“Instead,” San Pascual said, “the President chose to please the bishops.” He laments, “It’s kind of double jeopardy for RH advocates. At the least, P-Noy could have included RH as among measures that require Congressional attention. It would have strengthened his Matuwid na Daan leadership character.”
Despite this, San Pascual is still confident that RH bill will be passed this Congress. “With Speaker Belmonte urging his colleagues to act with immediacy on RH bill, and with Senator Enrile’s assurance that Senate will calendar debates on the bill, we remain positive that RH bill will be passed in this Congress before the year ends.
Meanwhile, San Pascual shares that after the SONA, RH advocates will take more vigilant stance as they vowed to watch every development in Congress and push for quick debate in both chambers. “The academe, developmental agencies, non-government organizations, community-based organizations, youth, women, labor sectors, interfaith organizations – are supportive of the RH bill while majority of Filipinos are clamoring for RH education and services. RH proponents do not see why Congress will continue to delay its passage,” San Pascual said. “The time to pass RH bill is now,” he ended.