Representative Lagman wants RH Bill voted onBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—With House majority leader Neptali Gonzales II’s statement on the Reproductive Health Bill’s slim chances of being passed, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman said that lack of time should not be an excuse.
In a statement, the lawmaker said that such reason should not be used as a scapegoat in failing to enact the RH Bill since lawmakers could find time to speed up the passage of other measures such as House Bill 4146, which cancelled elections in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) Governance Act.
He said lawmakers should have worked to pass the RH Bill after President Benigno Aquino III endorsed the measure to the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) and to Congress.
“The House leadership must take the bull by its horns and schedule the resumption of debates, amendments and voting within an expeditious timeframe,” said Lagman.
He pointed out the House should continue deliberations on the RH Bill since even the senators took time to vote on it.
Lagman saw the discussions on the ARMM and GOCC measures were relatively short, unlike the RH Bill’s deliberations which has reached almost one and a half decades.
He said if the House had time to bring up amendments to the Constitution that were unpopular, then there should be enough time to tackle the RH Bill which according to surveys was most sought after by the masses.
“There is sufficient time from late July up to the full month of August 2012 to vote on the RH bill before the General Appropriations Bill is set for plenary consideration in September,” he added.