Anti-reproductive health (RH) bill lawmakers continue to discuss amendments after the adjournment of deliberations last Dec. 5. Photo by Bernadette D. Nicolas

11 December 2012, 5:34 p.m. – ANTI-REPRODUCTIVE Health (RH) bill lawmakers remained confident they will be able to finish amendments to the controversial measure before a scheduled voting on Wednesday (Dec. 12).

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said they will exhaust the period of amendments as allowed by parliamentary rules.

“We have decided that by Wednesday we should be able to vote,” Rodriguez said.

On Monday (Dec.10), the proposal of Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia to limit family planning services to married couples was rejected by majority of congressmen.

Garcia said the RH bill as written encourages individuals to have a “satisfying sex life” without the benefit of marriage, contrary to the constitutional policy of protecting the “sanctity of family life.”

“I wanted to emphasize…that they do not put any value on marriage,” Garcia told the Varsitarian.

The bill will pour billions of pesos in public funds to finance a national contraception and sterilization program, as well as impose a uniform sex education curriculum on public and private schools.

Deliberations on amendments yesterday were not able to move from page four out of a total 27 pages since the previous session last Dec. 5.

Lagman, the principal sponsor of the RH bill, told reporters the bill won’t be killed due to lack of time.”

“By Wednesday, finished or not finished, pass your papers,” Lagman said, assuring that there will be a quorum on the “day of reckoning.”

“I’m also definite that we’ll win the vote,” he added. “If they keep on delaying and prolonging their explanations of the amendments, they are killing the time.”

The session was adjourned at 7:45 p.m. yesterday due to lack of quorum as only 136 out of 287 lawmakers were present, down from 183 on the first roll call. Bernadette D. Nicolas and Andre Arnold T. Santiago


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