Reproductive Health (RH) advocates condemn the cheap acts of the opponents of the much delayed House Bill 4244 or the “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011 and calls on them to stop causing deliberate delays in the interpellations of the said measure.
According to Ramon San Pascual, Rep. Pablo Garcia of the 2nd District of Cebu is once again using dirty old tactics to delay the debates by attacking proponents of the RH bill such as the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD).
San Pascual, who is the Executive Director of the group, stressed that PLCPD is composed of progressive and nationalists legislators who have championed the issues of poor and marginalized sectors in Congress and will not serve foreign interests. Among its past chairpersons are well respected lawmakers such as Sen. Letecia Ramos-Shahani, Sen. Rodolfo Biazon, and Rep. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo.
San Pascual emphasized that the anti-RH lawmakers are in fact reactionaries who refuse to support PLCPD’s human development agenda in Congress. They tried but failed to stop the enactment of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform and Cheaper Medicines Act. They will definitely lose the battle again with the RH bill.
PLCPD, just like any non-government organization (NGO) in the country, receives grants from domestic and international development organizations for its programs and activities, San Pascual said. He added that PLCPD is a legitimate organization of congress members and senators who for the past twenty years have fought for progressive and pro-poor legislation in the country.
“We do not see that as an issue, as Rep. Garcia insinuates maliciously in his privilege speech,” San Pascual said. “It is also very unfortunate that some members of the media are allowing themselves, and their organization, to be used by such malicious attack,” San Pascual added.
San Pascual urged lawmakers to bring decency in Congress by allowing the legislative process to flow accordingly and refrain from misinforming the public and maligning proponents of the bill.
“We call on anti-RH legislators to show up during interpellations, finish the debates, and vote on the bill now, San Pascual, said. “In the end, lawmakers will be measured by the legislation they stood and fought for, and not by what they cowardly turned their backs on,” he ended. Vigie Benosa-Llorin, Media Advocacy Officer, Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc.