By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 10:17:00 11/24/2010

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Lawmakers for and against the reproductive health bills fired their respective opening salvo Wednesday at the hearing of the committee on population with debates on which committee should have jurisdiction over the bills.

Representatives Pablo Garcia of Cebu and Roilo Golez of Paranaque questioned the referral of the bills to the committee on population when the bills are a health issue. They said the bills should have been referred jointly to the committee on health.

“This came as a surprise or even a puzzle because in previous congresses, in the 14th Congress, the RH bills were invariably referred to the committee on health and rightly so because the title itself speaks or proclaims that the principal subject matter is about reproductive health,” Garcia said.

He continued, “What are the special and compelling reasons for divesting the committee on health of its original jurisdiction over this matter and transferring it to the committee on population? Perhaps this is a question on feng shui…maybe being assigned to the committee on health is bad, it can’t have any good luck in the committee.”

Garcia charged that referring the bills to the committee on population could have been “premeditated.”

“Perhaps it was thought that this is more defensible or least difficult to defend if it is a population issue, but it is not defensible as a health issue because the World Health Organization issued an advisory that contraceptives are carcinogenic and classified along with carcinogenic materials and substances, so why should we now say that this is principally a population bill rather than a reproductive health bill,” he added.

Golez noted that the bills filed, specifically that by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, principally talked about reproductive health as a health issue.

Issuing a rebuttal, Lagman stood pat that his bills and the other reproductive health bills tackles population, census and family relations and thus, was rightfully under the committee on population.

He also said that change in referrals can only be acted upon by the committee on rules.

Biliran Representative Rogelio Espina Jr., chairman of the population committee, said he would consult with the members of his committee if they should ask the rules committee to jointly refer it to the committee on health.

Advocates of both the reproductive health bills and those opposing them trooped to the venue of the hearing as early as 9 a.m.

Anti-reproductive health groups from Pro-Life Philippines and the Apostolate for Family Consecration/Family Land Television Network wore pins with the words “I love life.”

Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza was also present to push for his pro-life advocacy. During his term, he banned the use of contraceptives in the city.

The six bills up for discussion are the following: HB00096 – An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health, responsible parenthood, and population and development by Albay Representative
Edcel Lagman; HB00101 – An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health and population and development by Iloilo Representative Jannete Garin; HB00513 – An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health and population and development by Akbayan party-list Representative Arlene Bag-ao;

HB01160 – An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health by Muntinlupa
Representative Rodolfo Biazon; HB01520 – An act to protect the right of the people to information about reproductive health care services by Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco; and HB03387 – An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health for women in development by Gabriela party-list Representatives Luz Ilagan and Emmi de Jesus.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Maniid lang ko kong onsay ika solti ani nga isyoha sa atong halangdon kuno nga congressman,
    Rogelio Espina Jr.,
    kay chairman raba kunu ni cya sa population committee.
    Onyag mag ngaaa ngaaa na pud ni inig sulti kay hingalimtanun lagi sa iyang igsusulti..,
    mura pud ni og ako, Hehehehehe
    ma’o nga swito koh…
    walay bationg kolba,
    peru blangko pud lagi ang otok, dugay maka himu og sunod e estorya.
    Maulaw baya tah kay .. .representante sa Biliran.
    Oi hesuss nalang nemu..

  2. SAKTO MAN NANG ARGUMENTO SA DAGHANG CONGRESSMEN NGA HEALTH ISSUE ANG REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH. DILI PA NA SIYA POPULATION ISSUE. MA POPULATION ISSUE NA SIYA UG NAANAK NA ANG GIBUROD NGA BATA. AYAW NATO IBUTANG ANG TARTANILYA SA UNAHAN SA KABAYO. UG SA ENGLISH PA, DO NOT PUT THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE.

    PAREHO MAN NI KANG DOK RABBIT. DUNA SIYAY TULO KA ANAK SULOD SA MOSKITERO. AMBOT KADTONG IYANG PA UNGOT-UNGOTAN UG GIBALAYBALAY KONO SA ORMOC UG NAKA ANAK NA BA GAWAS SA MOSKITERO. APAN SAMTANG WA PA KINI MAPAANAKI, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PA NA ANG IYANG PROBLEMA. WA PAY LABOT DIHA ANG POPULATION COMMITTEE SA KONGRESO.

    AW, KANANG KANG KALUHA RUDY MGA ANAK NGA ILLEGAL, MAO NAY KLARO NGA POPULATION ISSUE, KAY NAA GAWAS NA SA SABAKAN SA PIPILA KA INAHAN.

  3. Unsa kaha ang personal nga stand aning OJT congressman Roger Lim kabahin sa RH Bill? Pag pro-RH bill si doc rabbit, patay sya sa bar of public opnion sa Church People sa iyang Distrito. Kung anti-RH bill, patay sya kang P-Noy kay pro-RH rba si P-Noy, ambot kung makatilaw ba kaha ni cong Roger Lim sa share sa Pork Barril ni P-Noy kung against sya sa whims ug capriceses sa Malacañang.

    Dapat mo comply sa suggestion nila cong golez ug cong garcia ang committee chairperson nga si cong. roger lim nga dapat joint-committee magdeliberation…unless gusto solohon ni cong. Roger ang media millage… hehehe!

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