Lawmakers score anew in derailing RH billBy Karen Boncocan
MANILA, Philippines—Anti-RH lawmakers on Wednesday again managed to further delay passage of the proposed controversial measure, a day after a failed attempt to open the Reproductive Health Bill to amendments.
Even with 152 members of the House of Representatives present on the floor, forming a quorum, lawmakers pushing for the start of amendments on House Bill 4244 failed anew.
This time, known anti-RH Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez was determined to block the opening of the period of amendments, insisting and being allowed to make his privileged speech on the recent devastation caused by the southwest monsoon. Once allowed, he questioned why the RH Bill was more discussed on the floor than the extent of destruction caused by the heavy rains and massive floods.
Golez;s privileged speech followed that of Cebu Rep. Benhur Salimbangon, which dealt with the steep power rates. Both speeches were opposed by lawmakers trying to begin the period of amendments on the RH Bill.
RH Bill proponent Iloilo Representative Janette Garin tried to bar Golez’s speech, saying that it was just a delaying tactic so that HB 4244 would not be opened to amendments.
After being allowed to make his speech, Golez then moved to have deliberations on the RH Bill suspended. His motion was, however, left hanging when session was suspended and later adjourned.
Earlier on Tuesday, Palawan Rep. Dennis Socrates prevented the RH Bill from being opened to amendments when he insisted to make a privileged speech on the changed schedule on voting for the proposed measure’s termination of debates last August 6, instead of August 7.
Lawmakers will resume session on August 28 due to the observance of holidays including the Eid’l Fitr on August 20, the Ninoy Aquino Day on August 21 and the National Heroes Day on August 27.