On Privilege Speeches and Delaying the RH Bill

It is sad how some of our Representatives would delay a long overdue bill for the sake of delaying it. These past few days, I have been attending sessions at the House of the Representatives and I have been a witness on how blatant the anti-RH Congressmen are when it comes to delaying the process for HB4244.

If during the interpellation period the main delaying tactic was to pose more and more question regarding the bill, this time it is the invocation of the personal and collective privileges. As defined by the House Rules:

Sec. 101. Questions of privilege are those affecting the duties, conduct, rights, privileges, dignity, integrity or reputation of the House or of its Members, individually or collectively.

These questions of privileges are being utilized to delay the proceedings as these takes the third highest precedence (Sec 97 of House Rules).

Representative Garin of Iloilo raised a point of order regarding this saying that such privileges are being utilized to delay the bill. She argues that such is a privilege and not a right as the other Congressmen claims. The Presiding Officer Representative Remulla denied Garin’s appeal. Although this is debatable and I am no legislator nor a lawyer to have a valuable comment, I would have to agree with Rep. Garin as these privileges is being used in politicking and filibustering.

The House Rules provides that there is a Day for Privilege Hour scheduled every Monday. The mere fact that there is a scheduled date for personal and collective privileges already says something on the House of Representatives’ function. Designating a Privilege Hour does not make sense if any member of the House can stand up, anytime, to make a personal speech. These anti-RH Congressmen need to know that the House of Representative is a house of legislation and not a house of speeches. They must be reminded that the house should tackle the day’s order of business as such dictates its functions as a legislative body.

Legislation should be debated upon, yes we understand that, but using technicalities in order to delay a particular bill runs counter to the function of a legislator. The people voted these congressmen to make laws and not to make speeches. Legislation is a number’s game, and I assume that Golez, Socrates, Rodriguez and the other antiRH representatives know perfectly; but, their acts are unbecoming of a legislator. Delaying a bill that is long overdue is not the proper way a legislator should act. AntiRH representatives should know that delaying the bill costs the country time in tackling the bill and the other bills that they should have been tackling.

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