House votes Monday on RH billBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—Members of the House of Representatives will vote viva voce on Monday to either continue or terminate debates on the controversial Reproductive Health Bill, a day earlier than scheduled. The vote is expected late afternoon or early evening after session was convened at 4 p.m.
HB 4244′s proponent, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, said that the decision to vote on Monday instead of pushing through with the previously scheduled voting on Tuesday came after President Aquino rallied lawmakers during a meeting the same day to terminate the debates on the much-debated proposed measure.
Although he said he preferred a nominal voting scheme for House Bill 4244, House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II on Monday said they will be voting by saying aye for yes or nay for no.
Lagman said the President suggested that members of the House of Representatives cast a “conscience vote” on HB 4244, telling them to be brave enough to make a stand on the issue for their constituents and not give in to intimidation, and to address backlogs in the health and education systems.
Lagman said Aquino also warned them that ignoring the issue would result in “inordinately large families” and urged them to support the idea of “children by choice, not by chance.”
CIBAC party-list Representative Sherwin Tugna clarified that Aquino’s advice was no marching order but a suggestion for “conscience votes.”
Tugna said that some 180 lawmakers were present during the meeting with the chief executive at Malacanang.
The party-list lawmaker estimated that some 200 members of the House of Representatives will be voting for the termination of the debates on HB 4244.
Meanwhile, pro-RH Bill rallyists were seen outside the gates of the Batasan Complex’s South Wing Building, calling on lawmakers to support the passage of HB 4244.
Originally posted at 04:15 pm | Monday, August 06, 2012