Amid deliberate acts of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to block the passage of the much delayed Reproductive Health (RH) bill, a group of leading proponents advocating for its passage, said that these acts are not working and the voting of the RH bill is imminent.
According to Ramon San Pascual, Executive Director of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD), Fr. Melvin Castro’s call on the President not to ‘rush’ the bill is clearly an act to prolong the proceedings to no end and an attempt to thwart support on the bill as once again articulated by the President himself.
CBCP fully knows that the President is supportive of responsible parenthood and reproductive health and is fully aware of former legislations on RH that has been pending for more than 10 years. CBCP is desperate for it knows that when voting comes the RH bill will be passed not only in the House of Representatives but also in the Senate, said San Pascual.
He lauded the attention given by the President on the RH bill. “Advocates appreciates that the President, despite his many urgent concerns, considers the RH Bill important,” San Pascual said.
For more than a decade now, anti-RH lawmakers backed by the influential CBCP has managed to block the RH bill, San Pascual explains. Now that we have a determined President who understands that a law on RH will help resolve the country’s maternal and infant health and poverty issue and one that cannot be swayed by CBCB’s uncalled for pressure, the passage of the RH bill is imminent.
“It is time for the Congress leadership to look into the matter seriously,” said San Pascual. “Even the President wants the voting on the bill to happen soon,” he added, “it is now their job to see to it that the bill reach the voting. After all, even the Speaker of the House attests on the repetitive questioning of his colleagues to delay the measure,” San Pascual added.
“In the end, truth will prevail. The benefit for the greater good will triumph over the whims of a few privileged people who does not understand the plight of poor women who wants to access RH services from their health centers,” he said. “We are very certain, the RH bill will become a law next year,” he ended.