Lawmaker vows to block next step in RH bill-A A +A
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
A LAWMAKER who is against the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill vowed to oppose moves to start the period of amendments after the House majority decided to terminate the period of debate early this week.
Parañaque Representative Roilo Golez said Congress should instead focus on the approval of a supplemental calamity fund and the proposed national budget for 2013.
Golez made the statement after the southwest monsoon triggered heavy rains that paralyzed most of Metro Manila areas and its nearby provinces.
“I will stand on the floor and oppose any move to resume plenary deliberations on the RH bill or start the period of amendments until we have finished the more pressing calamity and economic development issues,” he said.
For Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, “The congressional leaders would be the best resource persons to answer which issue should be tackled first.”
Presidential Communications and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang also deferred his comment on Golez's statement, letting other congressmen to react on it.
“The President has always said that we respect the views of other people and it is up to Congress on how they would react specifically to Representative Golez's statement,” Carandang said.
Meanwhile, he said the Palace will welcome the immediate passage of the 2013 national budget, saying it is the Congress’ job to pass it on time.
“Well, that's their job, and I think we got the record of passing the budget on time and the public expects that. Besides, it's their job to pass the bills,” he said.
After a multi-party caucus with President Benigno Aquino III Monday, the House of Representatives voted to end more than a year of debate on the highly divisive RH measure.
While the President who openly backed House Bill (HB) 4244, the proposed RH or responsible parenthood bill, did not directly order his allies to vote in favor of the measure, Malacañang said the President “expressed his desire that Congress move on to the next step in the legislative process.”
After the termination of RH debates, HB 4244 will move on to the period of amendments, when proposed changes to the measure will be taken up.
Once the proposed amendments are adopted, the House of Representatives will take it up for voting on second reading. The RH bill should also hurdle third and final reading in the Senate before the President can sign it into law.
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the main proponent of the bill, earlier said that the proposed RH law will likely be enacted by the end of the month.
Lagman noted that no amount of supplemental calamity fund will address the effects of natural calamities if the “population problem” remains unresolved.
“The enactment of an RH law will frontally address problems spawned by calamities and ecological despoliation,” he said in a press statement.
Citing a report published by the London School of Economics entitled “Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost,” Lagman said it found out that family planning is five times cheaper than conventional green technologies to combat climate change.
The report, he said, projected the benefits of bridging the global unmet need for family planning and found that “every £4 spent on family planning over the next four decades would reduce global CO2 emissions by more than a ton, whereas a minimum of £19 would have to be spent on low-carbon technologies to achieve the same result.” (Kathrina Alvarez/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)