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Overwhelming majority of Filipinos (92%) believe it is important to mitigate fertility and plan their family

Filipinos do not only recognize the importance of family planning, they also strongly approve of government’s allocation of funds for modern contraceptives. The latest Pulse Asia Survey concluded just before the 2007 elections showed an overwhelming majority of Filipinos (92%) believe it is important to mitigate fertility and plan their family. ...

A fourth committee of the House of Representatives has endorsed H.B. 5043

A fourth committee of the House of Representatives has endorsed House Bill 5043 or the proposed “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2008” principally authored by Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman. The Committee on Rules approved today the plenary consideration of the controversial bill which mandates government to provide information and services on all forms of family planning and allocate adequate funds for the reproductive health program. ...

Family Planning

“It is distressing that the miracle of life means death to 10 mothers daily in the Philippines,” Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of Albay stressed during the 2nd National Multi-Sectoral Conference on Population and Development last August 15, 2007. The Bicol solon is the principal author of House Bill No. 17 or the “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2007”. ...

Presidential Approval of 2008 GAA Affirms Executive-Legislative Common Agenda

The Presidential approval of the P1.227 trillion 2008 General Appropriations Act with minimal direct item vetoes is a reaffirmation of the Executive-Legislative common agenda of providing adequate basic social services and enhancing infrastructure development. It also signifies the Executive’s guarded concurrence with the congressional thrusts on non-confrontational debt service reduction policy and accelerated impartial stress on reproductive health and population management. ...
Centenarian Act of 2013 Print
Press Statements
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 17:43
Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
Independent – Albay
29 January 2013
0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137
         Around 8,000 living Filipino centenarians as of the 2010 census of the National Statistics Office (NSO) are to benefit from the “Centenarians Act” which is principally authored by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman once House Bill No. 834 is enacted into law, which is expected to be soon.
            Under the proposed law, a Filipino who reaches the 100 years of age is entitled to a cash gift of P100,000 from the national government and such other cash rewards which concerned local government units may optionally grant.
            The Senate has adopted Lagman’s bill with minor amendments as reflected in Senate Bill No. 3328 which it approved on third reading on 28 January 2013.
          Lagman has manifested his conformity to the Senate amendments which (1) increased from 50% to 75% the discount on goods and services which centenarians could avail of; and (2) tasked a National Committee to validate the true birth year of a centenarian applicant and release the centenarian gift of P100,000 within 30 days from the said validation.
          Lagman’s agreement to the Senate amendments foreclosed the holding of a bicameral conference committee and would expedite the process of enacting the “Centenarian’s Act”.
RH law is completely constitutional Print
Press Statements
Thursday, 03 January 2013 11:19


  • Office of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
  • Independent – Albay
  • 03 January 2013
  • 0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137




          Republic Act No. 10354 or the “Reproductive Health Act of 2012” is completely constitutional and will surmount any attack or test on its constitutionality.


          The RH law has not defiled any constitutional principles on proscription of abortion, protection of the unborn, religious freedom, family life, marriage and responsible parenthood.


         In fact, upon repeated amendments proposed by anti-RH legislators, all relevant provisions of the Constitution are included virtually verbatim in the statute’s declaration of principles.


          Those who challenge the constitutionality of the RH law principally invoke Section 12 of Article II of the 1987 Constitution which provides, among others, that the State “shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn.”


           This challenge is flawed and fallacious for the following reasons:


           1. The genesis of the subject provision shows that the “unborn” does not refer to the “fertilized ovum” which was not given the right to life;


            2. The life of the “unborn” is protected “from conception”, not before conception when there is nothing yet to protect; and


           3. The intention of the framers of the 1987 Constitution is to prevent the Congress and the Supreme Court from legalizing abortion, which criminal act the RH law does not tolerate and in fact prohibits.


           The rejected precursor of the subject provision on the “protection of the unborn” was the proposal to include in Section 1 of the Bill of Rights the proposition that the “right to life extends to the fertilized ovum.” This proposal did not materialize. Its rejection by the Constitutional Commission of 1986 unmistakably evinces that the purported concept that “life begins at fertilization” was not constitutionalized.


           The Constitution mandates the protection of the life of the unborn from conception. In other words, no less than the Constitution acknowledges that life begins when conception sets in, and it is upon conception that there is an “unborn” which is entitled to protection.


             The subject constitutional provision is consistent with nature and is in consonance with medical science. The fertilized ovum is not viable until it successfully implants on the woman’s uterus for sustenance.


              The manifest intent of the aforecited provision is to assure that neither the Congress nor the Supreme Court will legalize abortion. The proponent of the provision, Commissioner Bernardo Villegas, underscored that the “intention … is to make sure that there will be no pro-abortion laws ever passed by Congress or any pro-abortion decision passed (penned) by the Supreme Court.”


               The RH law subscribes to a commendable fealty to the constitutional prohibition of abortion. It does not legalize abortion. In fact, it is anti-abortion as evidenced by the following clear provisions:  1) it “recognizes that abortion is illegal and punishable by Law”; and 2) one of the elements of reproductive health care is the “proscription of abortion and management of abortion complications”.


             Neither the Constitution nor any law prohibits contraceptives, which in the first place are not abortifacients. Contraception prevents conception or pregnancy, while abortion terminates pregnancy. This is the whale of a difference which the detractors of the RH law refuse to see.


              The law, however, concedes that the State shall not promote contraceptives that will “prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).” In other words, once contraception fails and an ovum is fertilized, no human or medical intervention is authorized to prevent its implantation in the mother’s uterus.


             This provision is consistent with the principal mechanisms of contraception which are to prevent a woman from ovulating and/or prevent the sperm from fertilizing the egg, both of which avoid fertilization.


               The family is a social institution which is not immune from legislation, particularly the State’s police power to enact laws for the general welfare, like the RH law; Civil Code of the Philippines; Family Code of the Philippines (E.O. 209); the Child and Welfare Code (P.D. 603); and the Special Protection of Filipino Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act (R.A. 7610), among others.


                The RH law respects the “rights of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood”, and it also discharges the constitutionally mandated obligation of the State to support the “natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and development of moral character” by prescribing formal age and development-appropriate reproductive health education considering the default of many parents in imparting sex education to their children since conversation about sex is generally taboo in Filipino homes.


                The RH law is replete with provisions upholding religious freedom and respecting religious convictions consistent with the hallmark of the law on freedom of informed choice.


             The Imbong petition before the Supreme Court is premature because it seeks to prevent the implementation of a law which is not yet effective.

Press Statements
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 09:58


  • Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
  • Independent – Albay
  • 30 December 2012
  • 0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137





           The RH bill which was elevated by the President to a statute as Republic Act No. 10354 is not watered down because the authors of the measure made sure that it would be delivered and approved without congenital defects.


          Only cosmetic and redundant amendments proposed by critics of the bill which did not destroy its essence were accepted and killer amendments were rejected outright and voted down.


          The following salient provisions of the RH law are substantially attuned with the pristine formulations:


          1. The State is mandated to promote universal access to reproductive health services and family planning, including voluntary contraception, with priority to acceptors from poor and marginalized sectors who shall receive for free RH services and commodities (Section 2 on Declaration of Policy).


          2. The hallmark of the RH law is freedom of informed choice which shall not be subject to any form of coercion (Section 3-a of the Guiding Principles for Implementation).


         3. Massive nationwide information campaign on reproductive health and rights is assured (Section 20 on Public Awareness).


         4. The implementation of the Act shall be the joint responsibility of the national government and the local government units with the latter receiving financial and technical support from the national government (Sections 5, 6, 8, 16 and 20).


         5.  The principal elements of RH are intact and enhanced (Section 4-q).


         6. Enhancement of services for pregnant women and safe motherhood is assured (Sections 5, 6 and 18).


         7. Women suffering from post-abortion complications shall be “treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner” (Section 3-j).


         8. Inclusion in the Philippine National Drug Formulary of hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient family planning products and supplies is mandated (Section 9).


         9. Mandatory age and development-appropriate reproductive health education is assured for adolescents enrolled in public elementary and secondary schools with the curriculum prepared by the Department of Education adoptable by private schools (Section 14).


         10. PhilHealth benefits for serious and life-threatening reproductive health conditions (Section 12).


         11. The provisions on prohibited acts and penalties have been retained to assure compliance with the law (Sections 23 and 24).


          12 Private health facilities and hospitals are mandated to provide family planning services to paying patients with the option to grant free care and services to indigents (Section 7).


         13. Creation of a Congressional Oversight Committee to monitor the faithful compliance with the RA 10354 (Section 22).


         14. Funding support is assured in the 2013 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and in the subsequent years’ GAAs. (Section 25).

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