RH bill to be signed still before 2013
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III will finally take a rest months after being sidelined by health problems.
In an interview with reporters, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Secretary Ramon Carandang said Aquino has agreed to take the time off as was suggested earlier by Health Secretary Enrique Ona.
“Pagkatapos ng Pasko, siyempre katulad nating lahat may obligasyon sya sa pamilya nya. But after that, I think he will go to Baguio and Tarlac with [Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras] and some of his personal friends,” he said.
Carandang said he does not know the others who will be accompanying Aquino in his vacation. “I don't know, and I never comment on those things,” he said.
Despite going on a vacation, Aquino will be bringing some paperwork with him, according to Carandang.
“I’m not aware of any specific public events that were planned. I guess they want to give him a little bit of time. Ang alam ko lang, there will still be some paperwork for him to do and in the absence of events, mas maka-cope sya dun sa paperwork,” he said.
Meanwhile, Carandang assured reproductive health (RH) bill advocates that the measure will be signed before the end of the year as was promised earlier. He said Aquino originally wanted to be back in Manila by Rizal Day, or December 30.
“He will be back before the end of the year so I think he might end up signing whatever papers need to be signed. Wala akong alam na specific schedule, pero nung huling nabanggit ni Pangulo 'yan in public, sabi niya he hopes to sign that before the end of the year,” Carandang said.
Aquino supposedly suffered from a “bum stomach” in October while on an official function in Australia. Aquino later admitted he has acid reflux.
Last November, Aquino was not able to meet International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde supposedly due to a bum stomach. He instead asked Vice President Jejomar Binay to meet Lagarde.
Before he took off for the ASEAN Summit in Cambodia, he also suffered from fever and muscle pains.
Aquino is a known smoker.