Changes fail to sway CBCP stand on RH Bill-A A +A
Monday, October 1, 2012
THE bishops maintain their stand and will continue to oppose the Reproductive Health (RH) bill despite the amendments introduced by legislators, said the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president.
“We are still for the scrapping of the bill, it is not necessary,” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma told Sun.Star Cebu.
He said the CBCP Permanent Council has decided not to participate in the efforts in Congress to amend the bill or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011.
“Participating in the amendments would give the impression that it is okay. We do not want to be misunderstood. The bill is not necessary,” said Palma after giving an inspirational talk at the first local convention of the Catholic Nurses Guild of the Philippines Cebu chapter held at the Mariner’s Court.
Catholic bishops issued a pastoral letter early this year that they are opposed to the bill that is focused on population control, the use of public funds for contraceptives, sterilization and compulsory sex education.
The amendments to the House bill were enumerated by Gabriela Party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan at a recently held forum in Cebu City.
Ilagan said the penalties and provision on ideal family size or the two-child policy have been removed.
She said House Bill 4424 is now called the “act providing for a comprehensive policy on responsible parenthood, reproductive health, population development and for other purposes.”
As to the adolescent RH and sexuality programs, these would be for Grade 6 students only and parents are now given the option whether or not to allow their children to participate in the program.
The religious groups operating hospitals, in the bill, now have the option whether or not to provide artificial family planning methods. The mobile health care services aimed to reach far-flung areas to deliver health care services will now be funded by the National Government and not by the Priority Development Assistance Fund of legislators.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2012.