Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
Independent – Albay
21 August 2012
0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137
Some oppositors to the RH bill are extremists so much so they block projected amendments that even directly and favorably address their concerns and objections.
It appears that they would blindly reject the RH bill even if only a comma remains of the controversial measure.
Had the extremist oppositors relented in their dilatory and obstructionist filibustering, the following amendments responding to their criticisms could have been effected:
(1) Deletion of the provision on “Ideal Family Size” to assure critics that the bill does not impose a “two-child policy” like China’s “one-child policy”. The original version merely contemplates an ideal norm which is neither mandatory, compulsory nor punitive.
(2) Deletion of the section on “Employer’s Responsibilities” to address concerns that a similar provision in Article 134 of the Labor Code is already adequate.
(3) Deletion of the section on “Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines” to accommodate objections that such a prior classification cannot be made by law. In lieu of the protested provision, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with the determination of the safety, efficacy and classification of modern family planning products and supplies pursuant to existing law.
(4) Deletion of the prohibited act on malicious disinformation in order to fully guarantee the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.
(5) Assurance of funding support to promote modern natural methods of family planning like the Billings, Sympto-Thermal and Standard Days methods.
(6) Hospitals owned and operated by a religious group are given the option not to provide “a full range of modern family planning methods” in order to further guarantee religious freedom.
(7) Imposition of penalties to pharmaceutical companies, whether domestic or multi-national, which collude with government officials and employees in the purchase, procurement and distribution of modern family planning supplies, products and devices, and/or contribute to partisan political activities, in order to disabuse the minds of critics that there is a pharmaceutical lobby for the enactment of the RH bill.
(8) Deletion of the provision making the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as the mandatory source for the acquisition and operation of the Mobile Health Care Service vehicles to respect the differing views of Congresspersons.
(9) Emphasis that the bill is not a population control measure.
(10) Parents are given the option not to allow their minor children to attend reproductive health and sexuality education classes to accord respect to religious convictions and beliefs.