A group of women working in grassroots communities welcome with relief the inclusion of the highly controversial Responsible Parenthood (RP) and Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), but remains cautious on the final version that will be passed by Congress.
According to Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), the more than forty thousand DSWP women members nationwide have remained vigilant following PNoy’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) sans RH. “We have to admit that the RH-less SONA concerned us, but after Malacanang’s endorsement of the measure, we see it as a good sign that the President listens to what the people say,” Angsioco explains. “And we commend him for that,” she added.
Moreover, Angsioco expressed appreciation to LEDAC members for finally including the RH bill in its priority measures despite the very strong opposition from the CBCP and its allies.
She states that this development should clearly tell Congress that the RH bill needs to be voted on and passed the soonest and that there is no reason to dilly-dally on the bill. “Taking the cue from the President himself, lawmakers should now stop dilatory tactics,” said Angsioco.
Angsioco said that the passage of this highly clamored RH bill may be this administration’s biggest legacy to women, especially those in poverty who had long been affected by the lack of access to RH services.
“However,” said Angsioco, “our group will remain vigilant and work so that the final version that will be enacted does not lose the essence of what we have been fighting for 16 long years now.”