RH bill activists hold rally; House OKs RH budget

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2011 08:52 PM | Updated as of Feb 17 2011 11:37 PM

MANILA - A big crowd of Reproductive Health (RH) supporters gathered at the Batasan Pambansa south gate on Wednesday morning to ask for the immediate passage of the RH bill.

The Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, one of the groups in the rally, claimed they mobilized about 1,500 community women and RH advocates.

The mobilization came as the House Appropriations Committee approved the budgetary provisions of the RH bill pending in Congress.

House appropriations committee chair Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya said the budget of the bill will be sourced from the P731 million family health and responsible parenthood item of the current budget for the health department.

No new or separate appropriations were approved.

The mother bill was approved by the House population committee weeks ago and is due for plenary debates soon.

The House leadership has fast-tracked the bill, noting that it was already on 2nd reading in the last Congress.

RH legislation in the last Congress was stuck on 2nd reading, with lawmakers failing to muster a quorum for plenary sessions where it was scheduled to be tackled.

Being absent from sessions to make sure there is no quorum was a tactic used in the past to derail the legislation.