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RH Bill – tales of victory, apology and amendments

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

a few things happened yesterday at the House Of Representatives on the RH Bill (reproductive health bill) – the bill took a victory in congress when the anti rh bill congressmen were blocked by the house leadership and allowed the discussion to proceed on the rh bill. anti rh bill congressmen (and anti rh bill senators) have resorted to shameless delays and filibustering moves. but this time the house leadership finally did it’s job and got it going for the rh bill.

the end result was that the house has adapted the proposed amendments on the rh bill with no debate unlike what happened in the senate. this is the victory that the rh bill has claimed at the house.

read rappler.com article here:    http://www.rappler.com/nation/16804-small-victory-for-rh-bill-in-house

but that was not just what happened.

the other day, twitter was on fire when rh bill supporter rep. kimi conjuangco tweeted about her encounter with  majority floor leader (MFL) boyet gonzales when he apparently “threatened” conjuangco and told her to “shut up” on the rh bill. gonzales apparently also said that it was over for the rh bill in the current congress and should they just “repackage” it for the next congress.

read here : majority floor leader boyet gonzales “threatens” rep. kimi cojuangco to “keep your mouth shut” on rhbill

but a day did make a difference in this drama between cojuangco and gonzales. cojuangco after yesterday’s victory at the house tweeted this:

all is well that ends well – that can be applicable here. but we just wonder why cojuangco apologized to gonzales when the previous day she said gonzales has “threatened” her  and that from her tweets it was gonzales who had a few things to apologize to her for. this was quite a sudden change and in fact a complete reversal.

we suppose strange things happen in congress that us humans will never be able to understand.

we wondered what are the amendments that the house adapted. and this is where we are at on the rh bill.

New amendments

In a press statement, Lagman listed the amendments as the following:

1. The State guarantees public access to and relevant information and education on medically safe, legal, ethical, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices and supplies which do not prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

2. The State shall likewise prioritize the needs of poor women and men in marginalized households as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.

3. The State shall also provide funding support to promote modern-natural methods of family planning consistent with the needs of acceptors.

4. The State shall promote openness to life, provided that parents bring forth to the world only those children that they can raise in a truly humane way.

5. There shall be no demographic and population targets and the mitigation, promotion and/or stabilization of the population growth rate are incidental to the advancement of reproductive health and sustainable human development.

6. Family planning information and services shall include as a first priority making women of reproductive age fully aware of their respective fertility cycles.

7. The teaching of reproductive health and sexuality education shall be promoted and conducted with due deference to cultural, religious and ethical norms of various communities.

8. Flexibility in the teaching of reproductive health and sexuality education shall be accorded to sectarian schools within the provisions and parameters of the Section on age-appropriate mandatory reproductive health and sexuality education.

9. The FDA shall update the Philippine National Drug Formulary (PNDF) with respect to modern family planning products and supplies in accordance with standard medical practice.

The foregoing amendments are contained in the proposed substitute bill which was announced by Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales, Jr. in the plenary and distributed to all Members of the House.

First batch of amendments

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. – Rappler.com

read : http://www.rappler.com/nation/14386-more-amendments-to-rh-bill

there were a few things we learned from this incident:

  • there is a failure in the leadership of the House Of Representatives, the speaker of the house belmonte and majority floor leader boyet gonzales in marshaling the rh bill through congress. it is a failure as president noynoy aquino during the presidential election campaign and in the last SONA has said he supports the rh bill. belmonte and gonzales are aligned with aquino.
  • the other failure of belmonte and gonzales is their inability to get the congressmen to attend sessions in congress. the delay on the rh bill vote has been hampered very much by a lack of quorum on days when rh bill advocates wanted to take the bill up in congress. getting member to attend HOR sessions we think is one of the most basic responsibilities and duties of the house leadership.
  • the congressmen share the failings of the leadership on the responsibility of attending sessions in congress. as a taxpayer and citizen of the country, i am grossly disappointed that congressmen don’t seem to be doing their jobs. we know  that as they hardly attend sessions, so it seems.
  • the pro rh bill has the numbers in the house as shown from the vote that was taken adapting the amendments. that is, if there is a quorum.

majority floor leader boyet gonzales “threatens” rep. kimi cojuangco to “keep your mouth shut” on rhbill

November 22, 2012 1 comment

we are posting here the screen caps of representative kimi cojuangco’s tweets this morning as they were tweeted and in sequence. rep. conjuangco is one of the leaders of the pro #rhbill at the house of representatives. we are posting here the exact screen caps at nothing added, nothing taken away. readers can make their own conclusions by reading them.

“MFL” is majority floor leader neptali “boyet” gonzales

some points:

  • MLF gonzales is aligned with president noynoy aquino and the president has given his support on the rhbill. in fact aquino has bravely taken flak from the catholic church for this support. at one point a bishop even threatened to  “excommunicate” aquino for his stand. does this mean gonzales has broken away from aquino?
  • gonzales seem to be playing some “let-me-fool-you-let-me-fool-everybody” political game where he is saying two different things to the people and media, to speaker of the house gonzales, congress, congressman edcel lagman (main proponent of the rh bill) and representative cojuangco. and the things gonzales is saying cannot be described as “honest”.
  • gonzales “threatens” rep. cojuangco to “shut your mouth”. we were not there when these words were said but we should accept it as its recipient, cojuangco saw it as a “threat”. cojuangco is quite a lady, she has her own mind that she speaks out very well. threatening someone like cojuangco is really a very bad idea.
  • which begs some questions – how many more “threats” have been given by gonzales and to how many more congressmen other than cojuangco? what will come next if cojuangco’s threats are not heeded? the majority floor leader at the HOR gets  things done or undone through “threats”?
  • where is rep gonzales on the rh bill? he appears to be against it based on this tweets and his “threats” to cojuangco. he is then going against the stand of the party that he belongs to, that of president aquino who is pro rh bill. has he declared his position to belmonte and the president? or did he “shut up” on that too?

representative kimi cojuangco of the 5th district of pangasinan

  • we have to admire congresswoman cojuangco for her tweets today. it may be a few days late (she said this happened some days ago) but revealing them today is good enough.
  • she has the courage to go against the “boys club” (we hesitate to call it a “gentleman’s club” for its sleazy connotation and also, gonzales was no “gentleman” in this event. but then again, isn’t the HOR through this event is being very sleazy?) and spoke her mind and tell the twitter world what happened.
  • it not only shows her courage, it shows her commitment to the cause of the rh bill and her strong and unwavering stand on principles and what is right.
  • the rh bill we believe will benefit women, the poor, the pinoy family and the nation at large. cojuangco is standing up for those.
  • courage as she is standing up against the majority floor leader who is also a seasoned politician and leader of the house.
  • cojuangco will defend and uphold the principles she believes in and risk everything as a congresswoman. she knows the revelation can put her position in jeopardy but she is willing to put that on the table just so she defends what is right and what is principled.

 

Read more…

RH Bill will be voted on in congress – belmonte

August 12, 2010 9 comments

this is good mews – after many years being just on the table,  the RH bill will reach the floor for a vote.  finally things will come to a head and we will know where congress stands on this.

RH bill to reach House plenary vote—Belmonte
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 20:20:00 08/12/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Advocates of the reproductive health bill can pin their hopes that under the leadership of the Speaker Feliciano Belmonte in the 15th Congress, the controversial measure will be voted on in plenary.

“I don’t know if it will pass the House, but definitely it will reach a point of being voted on,” Belmonte said in a news conference Thursday.

He said, however, that he could not predict how the members of the House of Representatives would cast their vote “because in the social setting of the country, it’s a conscience vote of everybody.”

The bill has been in the chamber since the 10th Congress, but has always failed to get the lawmakers’ approval.

It calls for government promotion of both artificial and natural means of family planning and sexuality education, as well as responsible parenthood.

Two bills authored by Minority leader and Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and Iloilo Representative Janet Garin have been refiled so far in this Congress.

mass exodus at arroyo’s LAKAS-KAMPI-CMD party, 40% members have left the party

November 18, 2009 1 comment

Lakas exec, 2 others join LP 
By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) A ranking official of the administration’s Lakas-Kampi-CMD and two others have left to join the Liberal Party as a coalition executive admitted that about 30 to 40 percent of Lakas partymates have shifted their loyalty to rival parties, officials said Wednesday.

Quezon City Mayor Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, executive vice president for external affairs of Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats, and his vice mayor, Herbert Bautista, will formally join the party of Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III on Thursday, according to the senator’s campaign manager Florencio “Butch” Abad.

Bautista will seek the mayoralty post while the incumbent mayor will run for Congress.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, vice president for Lakas-Kampi-CMD Mindanao, said a significant number of party members had left the group, adding more are expected to leave the administration party as the December 1 deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy draws near.

“Probably 30 to 40 percent of the party members already left,” Zubiri told reporters. “Well, you know as we say in politics, for everyone that leave there’s always an open door for somebody to come in.”

Aside from Belmonte, Zubiri said he was told that governors and a few city mayors were also planning to bolt the administration party.

Zubiri attributed this to the “problem on the popularity” of the administration’s standard-bearer, Gilberto Teodoro, and “political survival.”

read in full here: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20091118-236998/Lakas-exec-2-others-join-LP

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