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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. ...
Explanation of Affirmative Vote on House Bill 4244 of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman Print
Press Statements
Monday, 17 December 2012 13:00

           This bill is not about sex. Neither is it about religion. It is about human rights, maternal and infant health and sustainable human development.
             The hallmark of this bill is freedom of informed choice. This bill recognizes that neither the State nor the Church has the authority to compel the citizens or the laity to follow a particular family planning method. The choice belongs to couples and women who shall freely and responsibly determine the number and spacing of their children.
              The nexus between human development and population is too close and interrelated to be ignored. While this bill is not a population control measure and has no demographic target, it pursues a sound population policy that addresses the population issue because sustainable human development cannot be attained without first solving the population problem which impacts adversely on all major human development indicators  - education, healthcare, food security, mass housing, employment and the environment.
                The substitute bill has already addressed the objections, concerns and reservations of critics.
            This bill does not duplicate existing laws. It has substantial innovations not found in current statutes. In fact, it strengthens existing laws. The Magna Carta of Women (MCW) is not duplicated by the RH bill because the MCW is for women while the RH bill is for all.  It is relevant to place on record that many of the bicameral conferees who crafted the final version of the MCW signed the conference committee report with the express colatilla that their conformity was without prejudice to the subsequent enactment of a reproductive health law.
           It is constitutional because what the fundamental law prohibits is abortion, not contraception. The RH bill repeatedly acknowledges that abortion is illegal and punishable and is not included in the menu of family planning methods. In fact, there is no Philippine statute which prohibits the manufacture, procurement, distribution, sale, prescription and use of contraceptives which have been medically validated as not abortifacients.
              The sponsoring committee, through this Representation, rejected the attempt of anti-RH colleagues to insert a provision on “when life begins” because legislators do not have the competence to resolve this issue which no less than medical authorities and the international scientific community have so far failed to determine. Moreover, the proponents made fertilization synonymous to conception which are different stages of the reproductive process.
                Our people have spoken. Survey after survey show that the great majority favor the enactment of an RH law.
            I beseech our colleagues to be true representatives of their constituents by voting in accord with the people’s genuine choice.
                Let us be true representatives of our people, not centurions of an established religion.
                Let us have children by choice, not by chance.
               I vote yes.
The passage of HB 4244 is a signal victory for Filipino women and children Print
Press Statements
Monday, 17 December 2012 13:05
Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
Independent – Albay
12 December 2012
0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137
             The passage of House Bill 4244 or the Reproductive Health Bill is a signal victory for Filipino women and children who will reap the benefits of improved maternal and infant health which the bill seeks to guarantee.
             I laud the courageous Representatives who stood their ground and refused to be intimidated by the presence of Catholic bishops in the Plenary Hall today. They have indeed proven that the voice of the people is the voice of God.
            Finally, the Representatives of the people have spoken in accord with their constituents who have long favored the enactment of the bill.
            These legislators are truly the guardians of the peoples’ rights, health and sustainable development, and not centurions of the dominant church.
Today, reason triumphed over fanaticism; logic over dogma; and hope over fear.
              We have prevailed over a well-funded campaign to demonize the RH bill because we have unshakable faith in our cause – that every child born deserves to be planned and wanted; that women should not die from unplanned, mistimed and high risk pregnancies; that people must have the right to decide when and how often they want to become parents; and that sustainable human development and genuine progress cannot be achieved if the Philippines does not address its population problem.
             We could not have achieved this victory without the unwavering support of the NGO community and civil society groups as well our partners in the tri-media and social media. The authors of the bill are truly grateful for their invaluable encouragement and endorsement.
             We also thank President Aquino for his steadfast endorsement of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Bill and the House of Representatives' leadership under Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II for delivering on their commitment to have the bill voted upon.
Catholics bishops are welcome on the voting of the RH bill Print
Press Statements
Monday, 10 December 2012 13:19


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




             Catholic bishops are welcome during the consideration and voting on the RH bill, but they are cautioned not to demean Congresspersons by treating them like docile sheep to be watched and shepherded.


             The presence of bishops in the plenary during the past session days did not save the “killer” amendments proposed by RH critics from being voted down repeatedly.


             What Bishops cannot achieve by reason and persuasion, they must not pursue through fear and intimidation.


             If the veiled purpose of the Bishops’ presence in the gallery is to sow fear or employ intimidation against legislators, they will not succeed because fear is destitute of reason and must be resisted with conviction, and not be allowed to deter or delay legislation.


             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 ministers, fear of contraceptives as abortifacients and carcinogenic, and fear of a demographic winter, all of which are wanting of reasonable and empirical anchorage.

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