- Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
- Independent – Albay
- 26 November 2012
- 0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137
The Catholic vote is for the enactment of the RH bill.
This is consistently validated and documented in all nationwide surveys for many years now.
Surveys show that 71% of Catholics favor the enactment of the RH bill (Third Quarter 2008 Social Weather Survey, 16 October 2008). The same survey reveals that the percentage of those in favor of the bill is even higher among weekly church-going Catholics at 73%, which means that the pulpit as a platform for anti-RH homilies is a failure.
Moreover, the SWS also revealed that among registered voters surveyed, “most will vote for pro-RH bill candidates” with 38% of Filipino voters choosing to vote for candidates who support the RH bill while only 6% said they will not vote for candidates supportive of the measure. Among those surveyed, 20% said that a candidate’s stand on the issue will not affect their vote while 35% claimed they were not aware enough about the contents of the bill (SWS, 11 March 2010).
In predominantly Catholic communities like Cebu, Manila and Paranaque, respondents in various surveys are overwhelmingly pro-RH. A huge number of Cebuanos at 76% support the passage of the RH bill (SWS, April 2009); in Parañaque, 84% of the respondents are in favor of the bill (SWS, March 2009); and in Manila, a whopping 86% of those surveyed support the enactment of the bill into law (February, 2009).
In the staunchly Catholic Province of Bohol, majority of the respondents at 53% are in favor of the RH bill compared to only 17% who are against it, according to a survey conducted by Holy Name University, a leading Catholic university in Bohol.
Pulse Asia reports that 93% of Filipinos consider it important to have the ability to plan their families and 82% believe government should inform couples about all methods of family planning.
The faculty members of leading Catholic Universities like Ateneo and De La Salle Universities support the passage of the RH bill.
RH advocates should not fear a negative Catholic vote because the alleged backlash has no empirical basis.
Fear has always been used by the clergy as an instrument of repression and reprisal like fear of eternal damnation, fear of excommunication, fear of offending religious minsters, fear of contraceptives as abortifacients and carcinogenic, and fear of a demographic winter.
Fear is bankrupt of reason and should not be allowed to deter legislation and policy making.
Priests at the local parishes do not articulate with the same ferocity anti-RH tirades of some bishops because they are more aware of the ill-effects of the population problem on their parishioners.
The parish priest and the political leader are natural and logical partners in addressing the population problem because they witness on the ground grinding poverty, maternal and infant mortality and the inadequacy of pre-natal and post-natal care and facilities, all of which are addressed by the RH bill.
It must be underscored again that there were more RH advocates and supporters who responded to the roll call even during the session days when there was no quorum.