Quantcast
Latest Stories

RH bicam: Satisfying, pleasurable

By

HOW SWEET IT IS Principal sponsors of RH bill Sen. Pia Cayetano and Rep. Edcel Lagman enjoy their moment of victory after the final version of the RH bill was approved during the Congress bicameral meeting on Wednesday. RAFFY LERMA

What was supposed to be a meeting marked by fireworks and verbal jousts turned out to be “reproductive,” “satisfying” and “pleasurable.”

These were the words the senators used to describe the bicameral conference on the reproductive health (RH) bill where the Senate and the House of Representatives reconciled the conflicting provisions of the versions they approved separately.

On Wednesday night, the Senate (11-5) and the House (which resorted to voice voting) ratified the bicameral report on the RH bill. The ratification came just two days after both chambers of Congress approved it on third and final reading.

“In fairness to Sen. Pia Cayetano, she really defended the Senate version as what was her commitment. I think that was what touched (Senate Majority Leader) Tito Sotto who joked about sponsoring the bicameral report on the floor,” Sen. Panfilo Lacson said after the nearly five-hour meeting.

Cayetano, principal sponsor of the RH bill, and Sotto have engaged in several hostile exchanges on the Senate floor about the RH bill.

Sotto is staunchly against the measure and remains so even after he joined the bicameral panel set to iron out the kinks on the RH bill.

Members of the Senate and House panels had geared for battle before holding the bicameral meeting, thinking clashes would occur as either panel defended its version of the measure.

“It turned out very conciliatory. Even Sotto was very accommodating. It was a very reproductive afternoon,” said Lacson, one of the authors of an RH bill later consolidated in the report that Cayetano presented to the floor in August 2011.

A smiling Sen. Ralph Recto said the meeting was “satisfying and pleasurable” as he stepped out and also lauded Cayetano for standing her ground.

Before the meeting, Cayetano named three areas where possible clashes could occur between the Senate and House teams.

These included whether local government units (LGUs) would be given primary responsibility for the implementation of the RH law as Recto proposed; the age range for schoolchildren to be given RH education; and, whether minors would need written parental consent to avail themselves of artificial birth control from health centers and government hospitals.

 

Agreements

 

Among the agreements reached during the bicameral meeting were:

  • Adolescents between 10 and 19 years old would be given access to “age- and development-appropriate” RH education in public schools. The Department of Education was tasked with coming up with the curriculum for public schools, which private schools may adapt.

  • The national government and LGUs would share responsibility in the implementation of what would be the RH law. “Financial and technical support” would be given by the national government to the LGUs.

  • Minors could avail themselves of artificial birth control methods in health centers and government hospitals only if they present written parental consent. The only exception would be minors who already have children or young females who have suffered miscarriages.

Before the session, Senate media overheard Sotto tell Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile that all the individual amendments that the two of them and Recto had introduced in the bill were all preserved in the bicameral version.

“You mean it is finished?” a surprised Enrile asked.

Sotto answered in the affirmative but asserted he would still vote against the bill by the time it was ratified.

“I still cannot vote in favor knowing how that bill came into being. It is a foreign imposition and I cannot accept that,” he said.

Enrile also said he would still not vote for the controversial measure.

A matter of faith

“My vote is a matter of faith, conscience and my notion of what is the national good,” he explained.

Sotto and Enrile are the senators most vocal against the RH bill. They believe it would promote promiscuity, bring about an aging population supported by fewer younger people and benefit only multinational companies manufacturing contraceptives.

In Malacañang, President Aquino said he wanted the bill signed into law before the end of the year.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Congress , Contraception , Government , HB 4244 , Legislation , Population control , RH bill , Senate , Sexual Education , sexual health , Social Issues




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement