MANILA, Philippines - The reproductive health (RH) bill won’t be put to a vote on Wednesday, the last day of session before the Senate goes on a month-long break.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, one of the controversial measure’s opponents, said it won’t be tackled even when session resumes in November because the Senate will be busy tackling the proposed 2012 national budget by then.
“Wala na. Wala nang panahon,” he told reporters.
Enrile said debates on the RH bill will resume next year.
He added that opponents of the bill are not delaying the vote, and only want to ask more questions.
“I am not ready to just deal with this lackadaisically,” Enrile said. “Even if I am chastised, I have to be very careful.”
Enrile stressed his argument during debates that the RH bill is a population control measure disguised as a health program for women.
“Why are you reducing the size of your families if your only purpose is to help the health of the women of this country?” he said.
Because of this, he said the measure will have serious implications once enacted into law.
“If you are going to contract the population, you reach a point in time where you will have less workers, less production, less consumption, less taxpayers to support the government,” Enrile said.
Aside from Enrile, Senators Vicente Sotto III, Ralph Recto, and Lito Lapid have participated in debates on the RH bill.