MANILA, Philippines–President Benigno Aquino, who had a falling out with the leadership of the influential Catholic Church for pushing for the passage of the reproductive health ill, seemed to be in no rush to sign the measure, which was finally passed last week by both chambers of Congress.
In a radio interview, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the President has yet to sign the RH bill, whose bicameral version was ratified by the Senate and House of Representatives before adjourning for their traditional Christmas break last Thursday.
She assured the public, however, that the consolidated version of House Bill No. 4244 and Senate Bill No. 2865 would be definitely signed by the President “before the end of the year.”
Valte said a few more days would not hurt RH advocates, considering that the measure had already hurdled 13 years of legislative debates.
“The long (awaited), the very hotly contested and acrimonious, the long been discussed–perhaps, for 10 million years–Responsible Parenthood Bill was passed under the leadership of President Aquino. He will sign it before the end of the year,” Valte said.
With the long weekend, the President won’t be back in Malacañang until the next working day (December 26), a Tuesday. Monday and Tuesday have been declared as a nonworking day and regular holiday, respectively.
Valte said she has yet to receive advice from the Office of the President when Mr. Aquino is due to sign it.