PNoy signs RH bill into law: sources


Posted at Dec 28 2012 09:30 PM | Updated as of Dec 29 2012 08:14 PM

Announcement on Rizal Day, says source

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - President Benigno Aquino will formally announce that he has signed the reproductive health (RH) bill into law on Sunday, December 30, a source said.

The date falls on the day commemorating the death of national hero Jose Rizal, whose novels being made as required reading in all schools were opposed by the Catholic Church more than 50 years ago.

Aquino has already reportedly signed the bill into law, according to a pro-RH lawmaker.

The President signed the bill into law last December 21, Rep. Janette Garin told ANC and dzMM.

Garin, in an interview with radio dzMM, said the new law will be known as Republic Act 10354.

She told ANC she was not present when Aquino signed it.

"I was told he will sign it, but I was not there, we were not there," she said.

However, she said she exchanged text messages with Aquino, who told her it will be signed "most likely before Christmas."

"He decided not to make any fanfare on this," the lawmaker said.

"We can see Aquino's intention to give families better quality of life and, at the same time, reach out to opponents of the RH bill," Garin said.

The Palace neither confirmed nor denied the signing of RH bill into law, as of posting.

Another source, meanwhile,  also said the RH bill was signed into law December 21 -- on the same day the Palace received it, which was the day after it was enrolled by the originating House (The House of Representatives), which in turn was day after the final vote on plenary ratification of the bicameral report.

The Palace neither confirmed nor denied the signing of RH bill into law, as of posting.

It is usually the Palace that announces the signing of a new law because they would have signing ceremonies. 

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said earlier in the day said the Office of the Executive Secretary has not yet issued any advisory on the matter.

The source said when a bill is approved by both houses, it has to be enrolled first -- clean copies printed and signed by the leaders and secretariats of both chambers, before it is sent to Malacanang.

The President acts on it and only after it has been signed will it be numbered by the Office of the Executive Secretary. Once it is numbered and signed, the signed bill has to be returned to Congress for its records.

The source said any signed law could have been transmitted back to Congress by now. - with reports from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News