MANILA, August 8, 2012—After Congress “prematurely” terminated the debates over the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill, both pro- and anti-RH bill legislators are being called to give their full attention to the needs of their displaced constituents rather than prioritize the amendment of the bill.
In an interview with YouthPinoy, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said senators and congressmen should prioritize rescuing victims of torrential rains and consequential floods in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces in Luzon.
“Attending to their constituents who are left displaced by floods should be prioritized by the Congress. This is far more urgent than railroading the passage of RH bill into law,” he said.
The House of Representatives terminated Monday the interpellations on the measure, ahead of the scheduled Tuesday voting. Due to the haphazard move, the period of amendments on the bill is set to commence anytime soon.
The sudden turn of events has disappointed Church leaders, faith-based organizations, family and life advocates, and concerned citizens pushing for the junking of the RH bill, which seeks billions from taxpayers’ money for the procurement and distribution of contraceptives, among other objectionable provisions. But Lagdameo, who is a former two-term president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), encouraged them to carry on with their advocacy.
“Do not lose hope. Our campaign continues. I hope you do not surrender because of this challenge,” he told YouthPinoy, a youth group involved in the Church’s Anti-RH advocacy, promoting it particularly through social media.
“I hope that they will discern on what will truly bring about the common good for our country,” he said.
The archbishop specifically called on the proponents of the RH bill in the Congress and Senate to “reconsider their position” and “entertain second thoughts.”
But the prelate said both pro- and anti-RH factions in both chambers “should discuss amendments to the RH bill properly and with open minds.”
Aside from the legislators, Lagdameo also called on the lay faithful to help their countrymen in this time of calamity by volunteering in rescue and relief operations. (YouthPinoy)