RH bill among priority measures of Senate—Enrile
But it is unlikely to be passed soonBy Kate Evangelista
MANILA, Philippines—The reproductive health bill will be among the priorities of the Senate in its legislative agenda for the third regular session but it is unlikely to be passed soon, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said Monday.
In his speech during the opening ceremony of the Senate, Enrile included the bill, which is strongly opposed by the Catholic church, in its priority measures but admitted that passing it will be difficult.
“Mahihirapan pa siguro tayo. May mga gustong magtanong about the bill sa plenary (Maybe it would be difficult. Many would like to scrutinize the bill during the plenary),” Enrile told reporters in a chance interview following the opening ceremonies of Senate’s session on Monday.
When asked it if is possible to pass the bill within the year, Enrile said: “I don’t know. It depends. We will leave it to the Senate.”
But in a separate interview, Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III said that the RH bill is not a priority and will not likely get passed soon.
He said, however, that it was still a matter that would be discussed in the Senate.
“As far as I’m concerned and as far as the senate president is concerned it is not [a priority]. But if the members of the Senate want to talk about it, we will,” Sotto told reporters.
“Kasi kung gusto nila botohan kaagad, pano mo bobotohan agad e meron pang kontra o meron pang period of amendments, di ba, parating tayo doon,” he added.
Nevertheless, Sotto said he wanted the RH bill discussed to provide the people with the needed information on the proposed measure.
“I want it exposed, because I want people to know, to really know and not the survey questions that they use which are motherhood statements mantras that are being used by international organizations who are pushing for the upliftment of the use of contraceptives because of the pharmaceutical corporations,” Sotto said.
Sotto said that he was ready to give a privilege speech on the controversial measure on August 6 or 13.