Palace: RH bill in Congress not yet dead

By Delon Porcalla, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 19 2012 01:24 AM | Updated as of Jul 19 2012 10:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is not losing hope on the reproductive health bill – which President Aquino himself has endorsed – despite news reports that it is on the verge of being docketed yet again in the present Congress.

“The bill is not yet dead. It’s still with the House (of Representatives),” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda yesterday said, apparently unaware that the measure is now locked in plenary debates.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II hinted that the chances for the passage of House Bill 4244 is now very slim, considering that congressmen will be busy campaigning for the May 2013 polls apart from the debates on the 2013 budget.

Gonzales said the chances of the RH bill being approved in the House were becoming “smaller and more difficult” as it remained stuck in floor debates, citing opponents’ fierce opposition to the measure.

However, Lacierda said he will ask the President about his sentiments on the issue, including the criticisms of Aquino’s relative – Rep. Carmen Cojuangco – regarding the very slow pace by which the RH bill has been moving in the House.