Lagman: Support, merits guarantee passage of RH bill

By Dharel Placido,

Posted at Dec 17 2012 12:57 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2012 01:07 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The strong support from various sectors, both public and private, will ensure the passage of the reproductive health bill, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said on Monday.

"While the certification by the President of the necessity for immediate enactment of the RH bill sealed its enactment, the intrinsic merit of the measure and its laudable objectives galvanized legislators' support and justified the Presidential endorsement," Lagman said in a statement, as both chambers of the legislative branch try to put to vote their respective versions of the bill today.

"Being meritorious, relevant and necessary, the bill did not only receive the support of the executive and legislative departments, but primarily of the Filipino people, both adults and adolescents, Catholics and non-Catholics, rich and poor, entrepreneurs and workers, as well as the academe and the marketplace," he added.

Lagman reiterated anew the reasons why the RH bill deserves to be enacted into law.

He cited the giving of informed choice to women, the ill effects of a rapidly growing population, the alarming rate of infant and maternal deaths, the importance of informing the youth about safe sex, and the reduction of abortion through means of contraception as among the potent reasons why the country needs an RH law.

The RH bill hurdled the second reading in the lower house last week following an intense nominal voting that yielded a slim 9-vote win for the proposed measure.

The Senate, meanwhile, is expected to tackle its version of the bill on second reading today. If the bill passes this stage, the Senate can already proceed to third reading.

If the bill passes the third reading in both chambers, the bicameral conference committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives can already meet as early as Tuesday, December 18.

President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday announced he has certified the bill as urgent.