Arroyo and sons vote against RH bill

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2012 09:07 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2012 04:13 PM

MANILA - Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cast her vote against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill when it was put a vote on 3rd reading at the House of Representatives.

Her vote was relayed by her son, Ang Galing Pinoy Rep. Mikey Arroyo, who likewise voted no.

The youngest Arroyo, Dato Arroyo of Camarines Sur’s 2nd district, also voted no.

In explaining his negative vote, Mikey Arroyo read his mother’s position on the bill, which Mikey adopted as his own.

Mikey said, “She wishes to vote NO, and I adopt her explanation as my own.”

Mikey noted that there was a lower population growth rate during the Arroyo administration, which espoused birth spacing.

“This, without my mother pushing for artificial birth control as had been done in previous years. Rather, she focused on responsible parenthood, respect for life, birth spacing, female education and empowerment and informed choice. She emphasized informing about modern natural family planning to correct the bias in previous years which taught only artificial birth control, and to conform to the culture and values of a predominantly Catholic population," he said.

Mikey added, “The decline in population growth rates during my mother’s incumbency validates the finding of the Population Council of New York that artificial contraception contributes less to declining birth rates than the combination of improving the economic condition of the family, urbanization, women empowerment, and breastfeeding. “

Mikey also said that given these conditions, the country’s economy improved.

“Indeed, in my mother’s time economic conditions improved, to 7.9% growth rate based on GDP and 8.2% based on Gross National Income, as of first half of 2010, and our self-rated poverty dropped from 55% In 2001 to 43% by the time she stepped down," he said.

"During the global recession, we were among the one-third of the world that did not suffer negative growth. In Asia, the countries that managed to avoid recession were those with large domestic markets, such as China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. These economies have a large domestic market because they have a large population and their per capita income has brought them into the middle income country classification of the international financial institutions."