MANILA, Philippines – An advocate of the highly divisive reproductive health (RH) bill believes the healing process among supporters and opponents of the measure must now begin.
Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin said while she and fellow RH advocates are rejoicing over the bill's passage on final reading in both chambers of the Congress, they felt it would be improper to dangle their victory in front of opponents.
"As much as possible, we would like to start the healing process kaagad para ang aming kasamahan ay medyo 'di sumama ang loob," Garin told dzMM.
"And of course, with due to respect to CBCP (Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines), alam naman namin na hangad din nilang mabawasan and possibily eradicate poverty and give every Filipino family quality life. Baka pwede tayong magsimula, anyway Pasko naman," she added.
The Senate on Monday approved the bill on final reading, 13-8. The House also passed it by a landslide vote of 133-79, with 7 abstentions.
The two legislative chambers are set to hammer out a common version of the bill through the bicameral conference committee.
Meanwhile, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, despite calling the RH bill "a moral time bomb wrapped as a gift to celebrate Christmas," also called for anti-RH advocates to move on.
"This is also a time for soul searching and prayers. This is a time for peacemaking. We might not see eye to eye but we can work hand in hand for the real progress that your people so richly deserve. It is a progress with God, in God and through God. Daang matuwid without God is a dead end street. Only with God can we see real progress of peoples," Villegas said in a statement addressed to the Catholic faithfuls in his archdiocese.