Church backs tactics to delay RH bill


Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the CBCP—Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

Robert’s Rules of Order will be the working bible in the Church-led effort to squash the reproductive health (RH) bill.

All the tactics contained in the handbook of parliamentary procedure will come in handy in the anti-RH initiative in the House of Representatives to derail passage of the bill, according to Fr. Melvin Castro, executive director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines–Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

“We support them,” Castro  said in an interview Monday of congressmen on the opposition front line in the second stage of the legislative process on the bill—the period of amendments—after Aquino administration allies on August 6 voted to end the debate on the population control measure.

“It’s not delaying. It’s about using existing parliamentary procedures because this has plenty of loopholes,” he said. “We foresee that this period of amendment, hopefully, will take a while.”

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte told the Philippine Daily Inquirer over the weekend he was exploring the possibility of setting a timetable for the period of amendments so that the measure could be put to a vote on the plenary once and for all.

Opponents of the bill in the last two sessions last week  succeeded in preventing the introduction of alterations.

Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who is against the RH bill, said the opposition would not hesitate to question the quorum during the parliamentary discussions.

Castro expressed wariness at Belmonte’s move to short-circuit the legislative process. “We have been burned by that,” he said, noting that the House leadership did not follow its own rules on August 6, when it held a surprise vote to end the debate on the bill.

Blitzkrieg move

Bishops said the vote, earlier scheduled on August 7, was reminiscent of the blitzkrieg fashion in which 188 congressmen impeached then Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was subsequently removed.

“They want to railroad this,” Castro said.

The Church has been leading the campaign against the bill since it was proposed a decade ago, maintaining that it would propagate a culture of premarital and permissive sex.

If approved, the RH bill will allow the use of government funds and facilities to provide family planning methods. It will also allow information on reproductive health and the inclusion of sex education in schools.

In a statement Monday, Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the main proponent of the bill, suggested that the House give the measure the same priority as the national budget.

He said the RH bill complemented the budget bill regarding social services, risk management during disasters and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Appropriations are eroded by a huge population growth rate,” Lagman said. “Consequently, both the budget and RH bills must be prioritized for passage.”

Echoing Mr. Aquino’s position in his State of the Nation Address last month, Lagman said the constantly growing budget would not be enough for the country’s needs if Filipinos would not be given the chance to determine the number and spacing of their children.

Impact on quality education

The lack of adequate classrooms, teachers and textbooks will impact on quality education as the number of enrollees grow and outpace the education budget, he warned.

Lagman said the government would continue to spend more for healthcare if maternal and infant morbidity and mortality would continue to rise because of a lack of access, especially of those from the marginalized sectors, to reproductive health information and services.

Reproductive health services bring down the number of fatal high-risk pregnancies and would save the government millions of pesos in maternal care costs, Lagman added, saying that he based his statement on studies from the Guttmacher Institute and Likhaan Center for Women’s Health.

Lagman said unemployment and underemployment would continue to be a problem even if funds were allocated for job generation, because entrants to the manpower pool would remain high.

Allocations to protect the environment and deal with climate change would also be inadequate if the ecology falls prey to the unabated rise in population, he said.

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  • w33k3nd3r

    I am just glad that I don’t contribute anything to the Church anymore. If that money is going to people like THIS. Psssh

  • quirinomayer

    Pnoy, with the anti-RH Bill forces using both fair and dubious means to defeat the RH Bill anew, it’s time to whip out the pork as a weapon. Time to withhold it from those who oppose the measure to alleviate the suffering of the masses brought about by too many unplanned and unwanted children.


  • jinx

     I still don’t understand why closed-minded politicians and priests opposed to the bill have to engage in delaying tactics to derail the process of amendments. They said they had the numbers to kill the bill. So, if they are really confident that majority would vote against it, why not just let the procedure continue smoothly until the voting stage?

  • poppy52

    If the church doesn’t want birth control, let their priest have kids to get a idea what’s it like to deal with too many kids.  The Italians, Irish, Spanish, French, Germans, and Americans have all told the church to but out of private concerns and laws of state.  These countries resisted the church voodoo and did what was best for their people.  The church feels the Filipino people are still backward enough to succumb to their voodoo and  authoritarianism to buckle under to their Achaean traditions for the sake of hanging onto control of the Filipino people.

  • aramco92

    SA mga bishop sa pilipinas diba ang sinusunod niyong batas ay galing sa vatican bat ngayon sumusuway yata kau,kasi mismo ng ang vatican sa italy ay di komokontra sa rh bill,kasi sa italy meron ding rh bill…mg pasaway sa totoo lng kau ang unang lumabag sa utos ng dios,na humayo kau at mag parami,pero ano ginawa niyo di kau nag aasawa o nagpamilya tapos pra kaung mga expert sa family kung magsalita eh wla naman kaung sariling familya…

  • Hey_Dudes

    It look like the catholic church has painted itself into a corner and seemingly getting desperate each day this RH bill remains in the pipeline.  I bet they will even support any plague that will affect lawmakers permanently so long as the bill does not pass.  Is this just a Filipino catholic priest way of thinking or is it universal?

    • boyod

      that is why it was branded CATHOLIC cause it means UNIVERSAL gusto ng mg  pari na ito na sakupin lahat pati na ang pagpatakbo ng ating gobyerno kahit hindi sila nagbabayad ng buhis. Dapat gumawa ng batas for the cancellation of their privilege from tax-exemption

  • 4thINFSgt

    I am Roman Catholic. When a church intervenes with any political campaigns, whether an individual or a bill, then the Internal Revenue revokes the involved church’s tax free “privilege.” But, in the Philippines, campaigning is more fun, too. Almost all the churches from different religious beliefs are involved in politics. 

  • NYPinoy

    Melvin Castro is proud and eager in his role as the Chief Inquisitor of the CBCP.

  • yesyesyo

    The damasos are no better than the politicians. They are doing exactly what the politicians do. This is the reason why the church is in chaos. many damasos are out of control. sexual abuse scandals, corruption, name it, the damasos do it.

    One reason why the world is in chaos is the church itself being too preoccupied with earthly concerns. the church has become too politicized.

  • Edward Solilap

    Panahon pa ng kastila e marami na nagreredelde sa mga Pari ng pumalit ang mga Pilipinong Pari e ganon pa rin ang kanilang systema dapat iboycot na sila ng mga mamayan dinadahilan lang ang simbahan sa kanilang mga kagustohan.

  • Hein S

    ITALY and ISRAEL have Universal RH for their people. They are the Original Christians.SPAIN, which brought us Christianity also has Universal RH for their people.

    82% of Pinoys want RH Bill to Pass!!!

  • filndc

    What political party does CBCP belong to? 

  • Fudge Diko

    Father Damaso is alive and well. Rizal will be furious in his grave.

  • Vero Lee


  • Jose

    How is this actually news?

    The CBCP is willing to stoop to having it’s priests lie during sermons to fight the RH Bill, OF COURSE they’re fine with cowardly, dishonorable tactics like this.

  • Read

    Who pushes the interest of God in this RH Bill Debate? Where is God in this discussion? There are obvious data and supposedly there are obvious solutions to this. But the culture of DEATH that the RH Bill cunningly wants to achieve may cause extinction of humanity. Let us look at this once the fetus survives contraception, he is facing abortion. If he survives abortion, he is threatened by eugenics. If he survives eugenics and get married, he is tempted for divorce. Another option for divorce is same-sex marriage. And ultimately, he may end up receiving euthanasia. 

    God works in mysterious ways.The culture of death agenda is to put an end to life. Or to prevent it to begin. 

    • Denis Chanco

      hows is planning your family against Gods teaching?..maybe the catholic teaching–WHICH PRETTY MUCH DOESNT HAVE ANY BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE WHATSOEVER… move on–you should study more about the history of the catholic church—read and be educated–start with its role in world war II–ASK ABOUT HITLERS PRIEST OR PUPPETS–

  • Hey_Dudes

    If the Philippine catholic church run by hard headed priests, bishops and die hard followers are hellbent destroying their organization through continuous meddling in state affairs, I am afraid, soon, there will be less followers who will seek other religious domains.

  • andrew lim

    Melvin Castro, how can you call it railroading when it has taken the RH bill 17 years to make it to this point?

  • Read

    The Catholic Church has a reputation of protecting life. Even the Catholic Church lost the whole of England because of divorce issue, it did not matter to her just to protect the interest of God. For the interest of God and preventing the culture of death, it would not matter to the Catholic Church even it would loss the whole Ateneo de Manila University professors and even the whole of Jesuits community. 

    • Hein S

      The catholic church also lost Italy, Spain, and Ireland, because all of them have Universal RH for their people.

    • Denis Chanco

      well if thats the case something is very wrong with them..being ignored by all western europe , the united states–their last hold was the third world countries in asia–that to told them to get their sorry butts out…

  • Nick Cabagte

    We are back in the old times wherein the Roman Catholic Church is trying to impose its will on every citizen. Back then, this church even ordered the deaths of those who go against its will. 

  • KenjiHimura

    Let the people decide on the RH Bill through a plebiscite/referendum next year. Whatever is the outcome, we are sure that it is the will of the sovereign Filipino people that will prevail and not any institutions choice. To both pros and cons to the RH Bill, start campaigning now.  

    • Dan Dial

      Great idea.  I am on the pro bandwagon.

  • Enrique Sanchez


    • Denis Chanco

      it already has..sorry but 100 million people, how the heck are you goin to be able to provide for those..any ideas?..

      • Steven Zahl

        You feed them PAGPAG.  Search it on Youtube and see what the Poor Pinoys eat.

  • arthur1401

    Dati, ang anay ay ang mga NPA, Abu Sayyaf at Muslim rebels. They should now welcome CBCP in its fold with lots of funfare and celebration. They are joined by a more vicious new member.

  • isidro c. valencia

    RH Bill is now in the stage of amendments. For more than a decade, several amendments have been effected. From its inception RH Bill is a deception, a misnomer. The purpose of the Bill is to control population, so the word reproductive bill is against reproduction. How can you reproduce in a healthy manner if you curtail conception or fertilization?

    Sen. Sotto is correct in saying that the substance of original bill is no longer present. That is because of  medical experts and sociologists interventions. Another innovation is that there should not be funds for pills, contraceptives and abortifacient because they are not part of  medical health. 

    Dito papasok ang mga multinationals who will oppose because they could not recover the millions of dollars “lobby” given to some proponents of RH bill; and US and UN will also oppose because US needs dollars for their economy in the long run. Ogrot na ang US. It is now in the brink of bankruptcy.   That Obamacare will turn into Obamassacre of the unborn babies.There are several versions of the title being offered, one is Responsible Parenthood and Healthy Reproduction Act, and several others. So I suggest RH should  be renamed. . 

    The Congress should put in a name which truly represents the essence of the bill. 

    The word “RH” is already politicized and is dividing the Filipinos. Those provisions present in other Acts or laws should be removed. It is a redundant. 

    Those provisions which are against Catholic Church or Muslims or other religions should be pinpointed or enumerated and have compromise. All religions should submit their positions and should be studied by Congress. The Philippines should have One God, One Nation, and One Filipino irregardless of creed, belief, and traditions. 

    Let no foreign intruders come to our house.

    • filndc

      you are a sicko!

      • Denis Chanco

        why do you say that?..he is making a totaly rational point –your uneducated, ignorant banter has no room in here

      • filndc

        I should have said, huh?  i regret saying “sicko!”  I just did not clearly understand what Isidro was saying.  Guess I need more education.  What has Obamacare, and multinationals got to do with the RH bill?  Give me a break!  This is a national  and highly relevant issue whose time has come.  Rep. Edcel Lagman is right and a laudable proponent of this bill.    His rationale makes a lot of sense.  This bill needs to be passed for the welfare of this country. I feel so sorry for those people badly clobbered by the bully pulpit of the CBCP.  I could not change your mind, but we can disagree without being disagreeable.   Have a good day, “kabayan”!

    • Dan Dial

      If you wish to have as many children as you want, that is your choice; but respect other’s choices to plan their family the way they deem appropriate.   The Catholic Church should stay out of people’s business where it is not wanted.  And the priests have no business dictating to married couples about family planning because they have never been married, much less supported a family. 

  • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

    Dear Church Leaders: Please direct your energy towards the living and not an abstraction of life. You know, if you went out and educated street kids and convinced them to take up holy orders or missionary work, you would gain more support for your stance on the bill that the childish antics you are resorting to. And stop messing with the words of human law, you already tampered with the mass, turning it back to the middle ages so congratulations on discovering time travel. please leave the rest of us out of it and do something progressive for a change. TY ^_^

  • marionics

    A pair of Irish ditch diggers were repairing some road damage directly across the street from a house of prostitution. 

    They witnessed a Protestant minister lurking about, then duck into the house. 

    “Would ye look at that, Darby!” said Pat. “What a shameful disgrace, those Protestant reverends sinning in a house the likes of that place!” They both shook their heads and continued working. 

    A short time later they watched as a Rabbi looked around cautiously and then darted into the house when he was satisfied no one was looking. “Did ya see that, Darby?” Pat asked in shock and disbelief, “Is nothing holy to those Jewish rabbis? I just can’t understand what the world is coming to these days. A man of the cloth indulging himself in sins of the flesh. T’is a shame, I tell ya!” 

    Not much later a third man, a Catholic priest, was seen lurking about the house, looking around to see if anyone was watching, then quietly sneaked in. “Oh no, Darby, look!” said Pat, removing his cap and crossing himself, “One of the poor girls musta died….”

  • bgcorg

    Anti-Church sentiments seem to be more vocal and prolific in their tirades of the Catholic Church and her Clergy, that it gives the impression that they are many and overwhelmingly favor the passage of the rh bill.  But, actually, pro-life and most anti-rh bill see the futility of answering these tirades which are just preposterous claims, half-truths, innuendos or personal attacks.  Answering each of them would appear to make a fool out of yourself because of the irrelevance of the comments and hard-stance of those whose minds are already fixed on what they will do.  It is obvious that these pro-rh advocates have made up their minds and no one can change their line of thinking, not even a miracle, for that matter.

    At least Rep. Lagman was honest enough to own his sources: the Guttmacher Institute and the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health.  Now we know that his position is misleading the country and this is dangerous!  The position of Guttmacher is that conception begins with pregnancy and that is the reason why, like Lagman, they do not care about fertilization when the sperm unites with the ovum, the real event of conception.  This also explains why they do not have a qualm of conscience declaring that use of contraceptives is not morally wrong if the fertilized ovum cannot implant in the endometrium because of contraceptive pills ingestion or IUD action because the zygote is flushed out of the smoothened endometrium of the uterus so that no pregnancy occurs.  This morbidly explains also why the group considers abortion or termination of pregnancy not abortion, which it continues to parrot as illegal in this country, because abortion happened as a result of taking the pill which they claim is not abortive.  This specious hair-splitting should not fool anyone or simply be accepted because mesmerizingingly confusing!  The half truths and lies peddled by pro-rh advocates however, repeated with strong help from media, become the whole truth for many, and the unwary.  Please beware!

    The Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, on the other hand, should not really be supporting the rh bill.  In fact, they can appropriately achieve women’s health optimization, mother and child care, etc. by not attaching their concerns on a so-called “reproductive” health bill, in reality a birth control bill masquerading as such, if they had talked to legislators to amend pertinent portions of the Magna Carta for Women Act which should continue, as the “say-all” concerning women, made more relevant and updated, rather than just a small portion of a panacea (sorry, but it is) for economic development based on the wrong assumption that there is overpopulation in the country, not overconcentration in some urbanized or urbanizing centers in the country. It holds that this should start by “educating” the poor to use artificial contraception so that those who have more in life can continue to enjoy the earth, getting rid of “the dregs of society” who “multiply like rats.”  Then, correctly interpreted, the figures and statistics of fertility and mortality rates for mother and infant could be better understood in the context of what the government should do to care for its very own, not just focus on the dream of those who can afford versus the dream of those wiling to afford but cannot, unless jobs, opportunities, training, education and investments grow so that hope and a just social order can be the order of the day in the country.

    The idea that birth control must first precede human development, hope and social justice, robs the state of its task to do and attempts a short cut towards total development by means of artificial contraception at the expense of the citizenry.  But, Lagman’s theory, as it had been from the beginning sucks as a square peg for a round hole.  Instead of giving the very poor what they need, when they ask for bread, you are giving them “cake.”  Limiting the possibilities of the poor because it is easlier to eliminate their kind by artificial means of birth control is a refined “genocidal” technique, instead of doing things right, even if it takes longer but with no harmful effect on society, and more constructively sustainable.  On the other hand, the tact proposed by the pro-rh is a convenient smoke screen to hide the foreboding reality that the government appears hopeless so that it calls on foreign aid which would slowly sap its resources, until it proposes another solution for a subsequent problem we cannot refuse.  Specific solutions for specific problems without artificial contraception or unjust, immoral laws which cannot be binding and only waste government resources. Again, NO TO THE RH BILL IN ANY FORM.

  • Hein S

    Go to Youtube and search PAGPAG.  See what the Poor Pinoys eat everyday.

    CNN and BBC has made documentaries on this.

  • filndc

    If you think the RH bill is a harsh measure by the government, think about China’s “one child policy”.   The RH bill is a benign policy, one that gives family access to contraceptives and proper family planning in order for them to decide how many children they want to have.  Unlike China, the Philippine government will not mandate how  many children a family can have.  Likewise, it will empower women regarding reproductive health issues.  Let this bill be a debate at the legislature, and people’s voices need to be heard. 

  • Sandiego

    @bgcorg ???? You lost me there. Your post is to long so I just skimmed it. What are you a priest? Do you actually listen to those clowns in their santa clause outfits lecturing people on morality. Why anyone would listen to men in clown outfits about family planning who  have no children no wives that have renounced intimate relations is just weird to me.  Priests are not men. Not real men. That provide for their families. Priests don’t work they rely on the Church for handouts. Nothing holy or wise about them. Just a bunch of men in clown costumes talking about things they know nothing about.  If I wanted advice on how to raise a family I would go to a man not a pedophile wearing a clown outfit. To believe in God is very noble. It humbles proud men, keeps bad behavior at bay, keeps us on the correct path. A group of celibate men wearing clown outfits is not needed to believe in God. The church is not needed. PHL can have a trillion dollar economy all the ingredients are there. Just close your ears to the satanic advice of men in their pedophile clown costumes.

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