MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Saturday confirmed President Benigno Aquino III has signed the controversial Reproductive Health bill into law, after keeping mum on the matter Friday night.
"The passage into law of the Responsible Parenthood Act closes a highly divisive chapter of our history—a chapter borne of the convictions of those who argued for, or against this Act, whether in the legislative branch or in civil society," Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson, said in a statement.
"At the same time, it opens the possibility of cooperation and reconciliation among different sectors in society: engagement and dialogue characterized not by animosity, but by our collective desire to better the welfare of the Filipino people," Valte added.
Republic Act no. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was signed by Aquino on Dec. 21, and the law is set to take effect 15 days after its publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation.
Valte stressed, "This is the mark of a true democracy: one in which debate that spans all levels of society is spurred by deeply-held beliefs and values, enriching and elevating public discourse, as we all work together to find ways to improve the lives of our fellow citizens."
Lawmakers on Friday night already told various media outlets that Aquino has "quietly" signed the bill into law, as sources said the President was planning to make the announcement during the Rizal Day celebration on Sunday.