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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. ...
Press Statements
Monday, 17 December 2012 12:34


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






              The inherent merit of the RH bill was its badge for passage and the Presidential certification was the assurance for its approval.


             While the certification by the President of the necessity for immediate enactment of the RH bill sealed its enactment, the intrinsic merit of the measure and its laudable objectives galvanized legislators’ support and justified the Presidential endorsement.


           Being meritorious, relevant and necessary, the bill did not only receive the support of the executive and legislative departments, but primarily of the Filipino people, both adults and adolescents, Catholics and non-Catholics, rich and poor, entrepreneurs and workers, as well as the academe and the marketplace.


            Who could successfully argue against the bill’s hallmark of informed choice where there is neither compulsion nor reward for a couple’s or woman’s decision?


           Who could refute the valid observation that a runaway population growth rate aggravates the problems besetting healthcare, education, food security, employment, mass housing and the environment?


           Who could negate the truism that the enactment of the RH bill will help the country approximate its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly on the improvement of maternal health, reduction of infant mortality, attainment of universal primary education and eradication of extreme hunger and poverty?


             Who could debunk the empirical verity on the linkage between population and human development as one of the guiding principles of the bill?


             Who could dispute that mandatory reproductive health and sexuality education among the young will not breed sex maniacs but would instill in them proper sexual values, discourage early entry into sexual relations, promote abstinence before marriage, avoid multiple sexual partners and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases?


            Who could rebut that the correct and consistent use of contraceptives will reduce abortion rates by as high as 85% because high risk and unwanted pregnancies, which are the ones aborted, will be prevented?


            Who could contest decades of medical research validating that contraceptives are not abortifacients and do not compromise a woman’s health any more than ordinary drugs and medicines?


        Who could oppose that family planning is more cost-effective compared to multi-billion mega projects of government with less beneficiaries? UNICEF has asserted that “family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.”

The writing on the wall spelling the defeat of anti-RH critics is verily patent Print
Press Statements
Monday, 17 December 2012 12:55
Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
Independent – Albay
16 December 2012
0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137
             The writing on the wall spelling the defeat of anti-RH critics is verily patent which even the blind can perceive.
             All viva voce and nominal voting consistently and repeatedly trounced those opposed to the measure.
             The continuing resistance of a few Catholic bishops and their lay allies is inordinate intransigence even after a clear majority in the House of Representatives has spoken in accord with the overriding resolve of the Filipino people in favor of the RH bill.
             Legislation is the joint responsibility of the legislative and executive departments.
             It must be no surprise for Cabinet members of President Benigno Aquino to monitor developments in the approval of the controversial measure which has been endorsed by the President.
            The collaborative efforts between the two political departments are highlighted by the following constitutional practices and precepts:
1)            The Executive traditionally initiates major legislations, particularly when the President presents in his State of the Nation Address his administration’s legislative agenda. The ensuing bills are known as administration bills.
2)            Bills upon the initiative of individual legislators are sometimes endorsed by the President as priority measures to the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), like the RH bill.
3)            The President has the power to certify the immediate enactment of certain bills where his discretion has been sustained by the Supreme Court in a number of cases.
4)            A bill becomes a law only when the President signs the enrolled bill or when he allows it to lapse into law without his signature.

             In a secular State like the Philippines, the Church may participate indirectly in the process of legislation by engaging in the national discourse, but religious interference is constitutionally prohibited, more so the threats of reprisal against legislators at the polls which may even be an election offense.

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.
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