‘Pork Barrel’ on the RH Bill meant to Deflect Bishops’ Scandals, says Women’s Group

This is a press statement from DSWP.

Reacting to reports that Sen. Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson may withdraw his support from the Reproductive Health (RH) bill if a provision to add P300M to each of members of House of Representatives’ pork barrel for condom distribution will be included in the bill, Elizabeth Angsioco, staunch RH supporter and women’s right advocate, said that there is no truth to the issue.

Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), a group of women advocates working in grassroots communities explains that there is nothing in the RH Bill that says anything about adding on to pork barrel. “This possibly is brought about by another disinformation drive by those who are vehemently opposing the bill,” expressed Angsioco.

According to her, the only provision that may have been twisted to make it appear that there will be additional pork is the one on ‘mobile health clinic’ which mandates each Congressional district to purchase a van or any appropriate mode of transportation to bring health services nearer to people, even those in difficult to reach areas. “If this is the provision referred to, it is hard to imagine how some people can be against something that will definitely improve poor people’s access to health services,” she said.

“The good Senator is one of the authors of the RH bill and his support is valuable to its passage, It is possible that some opponents of the bill are trying to weaken his position on the bill. It’s also possible that anti-RH groups may be looking for ways to deflect public attention from the scandals involving their champions – some of the bishops. They of course know that the pajero issue is destroying the bishops’ credibility”

Angsioco appealed to Senator Lacson to investigate further and ask those who told him about the pork barrel in the RH bill to show him the provision/s referred to. The Senator is quite smart and we trust that he will not allow himself to be used by these groups.

“We call on the anti-RH groups to help pursue the truth in the SUV scandal instead of trying to take attention away from the bishops by misinforming the public about the RH bill. If they are truly for morality, they will go against anything immoral, whoever is involved, even the bishops” she ended.

Image from antipinoy.com