Pia Cayetano prods fellow senators to pass RH billBy Katherine Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Pia Cayetano called on legislators to immediately pass the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill when Congress resumes session on July 23.
In the weekly Kapihan sa Senado media forum, Cayetano said that it is the lawmakers job to pass laws that will benefit people’s health and the RH Bill specifically addresses the health needs of women.
Cayetano also criticized critics of the controversial measure who say that passing it is against the Constitution.
“When we neglect the health need of women, then we neglect to discuss and to implement policies that would address the reproductive health of women, then we are not abiding by the mandate of the Constitution,” Cayetano said.
“When we ignore the plight of women simply because of our own convictions, that is unconstitutional. As policy makers, we must provide these services regardless of our personal opinions,” she added.
The Senate closed the period of interpellation on the RH Bill just before they ended sessions on June 7. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has yet to finish debating on the proposed measure.
“Sana ma-inspire sila sa sipag at tiyaga ng mga senators to bring it to action,” Cayetano said.
Meanwhile, the lady senator said she is optimistic that the Senate will pass the RH Bill once sessions resume on July 23.
“I’m pretty hopeful it will pass. I will be prepared to submit my committee amendments and then I have a pretty strong indication of what the individual amendments are,” she said.
When asked to comment on Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto’s earlier statement that passing the RH bill by August has a slim possibility, Cayetano said: “E may naging madali ba dito (sa Senado)? Wala naman di ba? So it is understood that those who oppose will not offer it to us on a silver platter. I know that.”
Sotto and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are among the senators who remain unconvinced of the need and morality of passing an RH bill into law.