MANILA, Philippines - Proponents of the reproductive health (RH) bill in the Senate hope the measure can be put to a vote before the chamber adjourns in December for its Christmas break.
"We hope it can be a Christmas present for all pregnant women," said Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, the principal author and a co-sponsor of the measure.
Santiago told reporters on Tuesday that the Senate can resume the period of amendments on the bill after the 2013 national budget is passed this week.
After the amendments period, senators will vote on the bill on second reading, and then wait for three days more before a voting on third and final reading can take place.
Santiago maintained that majority of the people support the RH bill, and downplayed the Catholic leadership's threat against politicians supporting it.
She reiterated that there's no such thing as a Catholic vote.
"We never had it in our electoral experience," Santiago said. "And to talk of it as if it were a fait accompli, as if it were something that happens in our elections, is to mislead the public."