‘Penalties, family size out of RH Bill’-A A +A
Thursday, September 27, 2012
AMONG the amendments to the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill are the issues the Catholic Church leaders strongly opposed.
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela Partylist) said the penalties and provision on ideal family size were already stricken out of House Bill 4424 or the “act providing for a comprehensive policy on responsible parenthood, reproductive health, population development and for other purposes.”
She said adolescent RH and sexuality programs will be for Grade 6 students and no longer for Grade 5 pupils.
The parents also have the option whether to allow or disallow their children from attending this particular program.
Ilagan was a guest speaker at a forum on RH bill amendments held at the Cebu Normal University yesterday afternoon.
“There will be no punishment for those who will not implement the family planning program of the government,” she told an audience of students, academics and community workers.
Catholic Church leaders have opposed the bill, citing that some provisions are against doctrines, such as the use of artificial contraceptives.
Some of the provisions they opposed included adolescent sexual education and penalties for those who would refuse to teach artificial planning methods.
In an earlier interview, Cebu Archbishop and Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Jose Palma said the bishops refuse to participate in the technical working group tasked to come up with amendments to the bill.
He said participating would be tantamount to agreeing to the contents of the bill when the Church opposes its passage in its entirety.
Hospitals owned and operated by religious groups have the option to provide artificial family planning methods or not while the mobile health care services that were initially proposed to be funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of legislators will now be funded by the National Government.
Ilagan said the proposal includes sanctions for pharmaceutical companies that would collude with government officials in partisan politics. These sanctions include confiscation of license, fines and revocation of licenses.
The provision on the ideal family size or the two-child policy has been removed, while the provision making it compulsory for employers to provide RH care, since it is already part of the Labor Code, was also stricken from the revised version.
“Family planning supplies as essential medicines were revised. It now states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shall determine the safety and efficacy of medicines,” said Ilagan.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 27, 2012.