noli, loren, manny & the RH bill

congress reconvening today.   sana matuloy ang promised testimony of scam & escape artist jocjoc bolante sa senado.  lalo pa, lalo na, sana matuloy ang long-delayed showdown on the reproductive health bill sa konggreso.

kung magkasabay, which one kaya will ANC air: bolante or RH?   sana pareho, one on ANC, the other on channel 2.  and if, by chance or circumstance, isa lang ang puwede i-cover, then let it be RH, parang awa niyo na.   i want to see, we need to see, the world needs to see, which congressmen and congresswomen dare defy the wishes of 7 of 10 filipinos who want, need, deserve, a reproductive health law like the rest of the civilized world.

dr. quasi romualdez, once doh secretary, counts heads in his malaya column:

In the House of Representatives, 114 members have signed up as sponsors of HB 5043 which mandates a government-supported reproductive health program that includes making available to the poor all the possible legal methods of family planning.

Given these numbers, opponents of the measure will likely resort to dilatory tactics that substitute parliamentary tricks for rational discussion.

Working in favor of these tactics is the fact that there are a number of legislative issues that will be competing for congressional attention during the six weeks that remain before the Christmas break.

Among these are agrarian reform extension and the impeachment complaint filed recently. Proponents of HB 5043 are confident however that when it comes to a vote, the RH bill will finally pass.

If the House approves the measure, the situation in the Senate appears to be similar in the sense that the minority members who oppose RH legislation will use all sorts of parliamentary tricks.

By their past statements and recent actuations, advocates of the bill count 14 senators: Angara, Biazon, Pia Cayetano, Enrile, Escudero, Estrada, Gordon, Honasan, Lacson, Madrigal, Pangilinan, Revilla, Santiago, and Zubiri.

Senators Aquino, Arroyo, Alan Cayetano, Legarda, Roxas, and Trillanes are listed as undecided. It is noteworthy that of these six senators, two (Legarda and Roxas) are among those invariably included in surveys for presidentiables, indicating the possibility that Church power may be a consideration in some senators’ decision. The neutral position of Senator Arroyo is noteworthy only becausehe is the only one among the six identified with the administration.

Listed as opposed to reproductive health legislation are Senators Lapid, Pimentel, and Villar. Senator Lapid’s position is clear – he opposes the measure because he perceives Malacañang to be against it. Senator Pimentel’s opposition to any population management or family planning proposals has been consistent for many years – he has always supported the position of the Roman Catholic Church on this issue.

Senate President Villar’s position that is somewhat of a mystery.

As a presidentiable who seems to be sympathetic to the plight of the poor Filipino majority, Senator Villar, more than the other aspirants for higher office, might have been expected to support what is clearly pro-poor legislation. After all, the proposed law is designed to help those who cannot now afford them to use the family planning methods of their choice in order to fulfill their responsible parenthood obligations.

Here again, the factor of Church power in national politics may again be a decisive influence. There are unconfirmed reports that the Senate President has promised a Catholic bishop that he would block reproductive health proposals. Advocates hope that this is just a rumor and that Mr. Villar, just like his political rivals, will in the end decide on the basis the people’s interest rather than political expediency.”

how dismaying that loren legarda, no. 2 presidentiable in the latest SWS survey, is undecided.  and manny villar, no. 3, is unequivocally committedly anti-RH pala.  alam kaya ito ng 7 out of 10 pinoys who want an RH law?   iboto kaya nilang pangulo sa 2010 ang isang indecisive, ehe, undecided?   iboto kaya nilang pangulo sa 2010 ang isang anti-RH/anti-women?  eh si no.1 presidentiable noli de castro kaya — malamang whatever gloria wants, noli wants, ‘no?

suddenly i’m not sure the RH bill is coming to a vote soon.  maybe not until there’s a public outcry for an end to the debates and other delaying tactics.   i hope i’m wrong.


  1. oops. erratum. according to the sws website it’s 1 noli, 2 manny, 3 loren. [] yeah arbet, but even if gloria is set to veto, it would be a huge step forward if the bill passes congress man lang. then we know which presidentiables to campaign against in 2010. di ba, EQ?

  2. It’s a bad bill. Not because it isnt good in substance, which it is. It’s just bad in form. It’s too sweeping, unfocused for a piece of legislation. It could be successfully broken down into 2 or 3 laws.

    For example, I find the provision on punishing with imprisonment or fines ‘malicious disinformation’ of the bill (or law, should it pass) highly objectionable. This provision gives the state power to muzzle dissent by giving it the power to interpret what malicious disinformation is. This also opens a precedent in bill-authoring wherein provisions against ‘malicious disinformation’ will be tacked on to future bills. All in all, the RH Bill before Congress gives too much power to the state including the power to fine or imprison conscientious objectors, in effect criminalizing religious beliefs.

  3. hay. yeah i’ve heard of this criticism of the bill. but i dont suppose that breaking it down into 2 or 3 laws would mean easy passage either for each. as for “malicious disinformation” i suppose that applies for example to the really gross assertions of priests and bishops of all people lying, saying that contraception is equal to abortion. i don’t know that even if the bill passes, the state would ever ever have the balls to muzzle or imprison church disinformants, but at least it might tone down the lying?

  4. Yeah. The authors probably were irritated by all the disinformation. But disinformation in a free society is countered with information, not threats. This is like a libel law against a bill and it’s absurd. How do you libel a law? And it is a dangerous precedent. For example, how would you like a bill, authored by the Arroyos in Congress, seeking emergency powers for the president, with that malicious disinformation thing tacked on?

    As for the breaking down of the bill, I think the RH education aspect would find an easier time passing if it were a separate law.

  5. Bungangkahoy

    Proponents of H.B, 5043 “Reproductive Health” bill always cite that that the Philippines is over-populated at 90+ million people to rationalize their support for artificial birth control. But is the country really overpopulated? And the implication is that our country is poor because of that 90+ million figure.

    Population figures are meaningless if we don’t take into consideration the area where that figure lives. For example, what does it mean that Japan has 128 million people? Or that the U.S.A. has 300 million?

    Let’s take a look at a sample of Wikipedia’s listing of countries according to population DENSITY, or the number of people in every square kilometer (, Fegruary 7, 2010:

    Rank Country People/Sq.Km.
    1 Macau 18,534
    2 Monaco 16,923
    3 Singapore 7,022
    4 Hong Kong 6,348

    43 Philippines 307

    129 Ethiopia 71

    Compared to the thousands of the top 4 most-densely populated countries, the Philippines at 307 is hardly “over-populated”.

    And what about the overpopulation=poverty myth? The top 4 countries are so RICH! Macau is Asia’s playground for billionaires, streets choked with Rolls Royces. Monaco is summer capital to Europe’s kings, princes, dukes and other royalty. No need to say anything about Singapore and Hong Kong.

    These top 4 countries are so small and have no natural resources to brag about but yet so rich. So is the Philippines poor because there are “too many” Filipinos and that we have no natural resources? Look at Ethiopia in Africa. If less people means more wealth to be shared, Ethiopia should be at the top of the list, instead of being one of the world’s poorest.

    Some people may argue that the top 4 are rich because they are small and easy to manage in spite their large population. So let’s look at huge China with its 1.3 BILLION. It is the fastest growing economy in the world, predicted to overtake the U.S.A. very soon, and even now lends money to the U.S.A.!

    Right within our own country, compare the population-to-wealth ratio of Sequijor, Cebu and Manila. Obviously, the more population, the better off the place.

    Now guess what is our country’s biggest dollar earner? It’s our Overseas Foreign Workers – human life.

    Clearly, life is God’s GIFT and a nation’s WEALTH!

    So what is causing our poverty?

    RIIIGHT! CORRUPTION! And the guilty ones hide their sins by blaming us the people for having too many children! What if by a miracle, our population is cut in half a year from now, will our country start getting richer if corruption is still there?


  6. Christina

    Saying yes to the RH bill is saying yes to contraception which is letting little babies inside the womb not to “kapit” which is murder.

    Clearly this is wrong. What is wrong is putting money into contraception rather than education, livelihood programs and character formation programs which will further the development of the country.

    Contraception is taking God out of the picture, the author of life and saying that man can take life. It’s one step towards legalizing abortion and divorce which others may find a “convenient solution” to the country’s woes.