Catholics back RH bill — solon

Published by rudy Date posted on March 27, 2011

A proponent of the controversial Reproductive Health Bill belittled the Inter-Faith rally of the anti-RH groups, saying most Catholics favor the measure which promotes the use of artificial birth control.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said that “most of the silent” Catholics are in favor of the passage of the RH bill believing it is up to the individual to opt for or reject family planning.

On Friday, hundreds of anti-RH Bill pro-life demonstrators gathered in Manila to denounce the deliberation of the RH bill in Congress and encourage more Catholics to reject it.

But Colmenares, also a Catholic, said that many Filipinos believe in the purpose of the bill which is to address the problem of ballooning population.

“As a practicing Catholic, I believe that the majority of us are in favor of the RH bill, having understood the salient provisions of the bill that would protect the reproductive health of women,” Colmenares said.

She expressed confidence that the bill will be passed in the 15th  Congress because of the support of the majority of the lawmakers.

Before Congress went on a long break, it started deliberating the RH bill. When it resumes session on May 9, the discussion will proceed with the interpellation of 52 solons.

“We are also very confident that the ‘silent majority’ of Filipinos are likewise in favor of the RH Bill,” Colmenares added.

Based on the separate surveys conducted in 2008, 2009 and 2010, an overwhelming number of Filipinos are in favor of the RH bill. The latest Pulse Asia survey showed that 69 percent of Filipinos support its passage, while only 7 percent are against it.

Another supporter of the bill, ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, is confident that the bill will be approved.

“There is a very good chance that the RH bill will be passed in the lower House if the leadership will exert extra effort for the bill to reach the plenary vote. We believe that majority of the members would vote in favor of the RH Bill…but this would not be realized if there will be no serious efforts to move the legislative process forward,” Tinio said.

Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chair of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, said that delaying tactics by anti-RH bill legislators make the role of the House leadership crucial.

“Speaker Belmonte said that he will not interfere with the votes of legislators, but assured us that the bill will be voted on in plenary. I’m confident with the Speaker’s commitment and that the bill will be voted on,” Angsioco said. –Jester Manalastas,–solon

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