More questionable provisions in RH bill unearthed; religious mandate hit

MANILA, Sept. 6, 2012–A bill purporting to provide Filipinos a “choice” actually leaves a number of sectors with no other choice but to bow down or else face imprisonment.

In Wednesday’s debates over the reproductive health (RH) bill, Sen. Ralph Recto bared that local governments, hospitals, religious institutions, and private schools would be forced to act against their consciences under the measure, all in the name of RH.

Under Senate Bill No. 2865, penalties for those who refuse to extend RH services include imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to P100,000.

Recto pointed out that more than 50% of local government funds are already spent on health. Another mandate on RH will add to the burden of local government units (LGUs) that have been saddled with mandates under the Local Government Code without funding support from the national government.

“Ano ba ang tingin ninyo pagdating sa LGU mandate? Kung ayaw sumunod ni Governor Vi?” asked Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, noting that Recto’s wife is the governor of Batangas.

“May kulong,” Recto answered. “[There are provisions], some of them written not so well, na kapag humingi sa ‘yo at ayaw mo bigyan, may kulong.”

“Ay matindi,” Sotto said.

“Sapilitan, kaya nga mandate. May pilitan eh, may kulong pa nga pag ‘di mo ginawa eh,” Recto said.

Recto said this extends to religious institutions such as private schools that will be required to teach sex education using materials crafted by government agencies.

“Di bale kung sa publiko. Ngunit ‘di dapat pilitin ang mga private schools lalo na kung Katoliko sila na ituro ito sa ganoong edad,” Recto pointed out.

Likewise, religious hospitals should not be forced to provide RH services against their consciences, he said.

Recto pointed to another conceptual problem of the bill – the provision on the “ideal family size” of only two children.

He asked: “Sino nagsabi noon na ang tama na ideal family size ay dalawa ang anak? Paano nila nalaman na iyon ang tama?”

Recto said two children will only replace their parents. The Philippines, meanwhile, has the advantage of average fertility at three children, which should bode well for the economy, he said.

“Sa 2015, sinasabi ng mga dalubhasa sa ekonomiya that we will be hitting a point in our population na mas maraming magtratrabaho kaysa sa mga bata na inaalagaan at mga seniors ,” he noted.

In Europe, the problem is a shrinking productive population, leading to problems in social security viability and immigration issues.

He also asked: “Bakit kaya ang titulo ng batas ay reproductive health? Hindi ba reproductive is to reproduce, hindi dapat magbawas ng fertility?”

In that case, half of the budget for the bill should be allotted to those who want to have children, he said.

Recto also warned that the RH bill would lead to higher Philhealth premiums to cover RH services under Philhealth, aside from forcing employers to provide free contraceptives to their workers. (Dominic Francisco)

  • Leilani Macatangay Bautista

    agree ako sa nakalagay sa artikulong ito. pero uunahan ko na kayo. ang mga babaeng nagsusulong ng RH ay sasabihin na naman na puro mga lalaki ang lumalaban sa RH. hindi kaya maganda ngayon na babae sa babae ang laban. maraming kaalyado ang mga anti-RH na babae, at sila ay mga doktor din. sila ang kailangang humarap sa mga babaeng nagsusulong ng RH, para hindi na umiral ang usapang feminismo.

  • jun chipeco

    I’m delighted to see sober and intelligent legislators like Senators Sotto, Recto and Enrile and their counterparts in the lower house like Cong. Rufus Rodriguez and Garcia, speaking out against the RH bill and in the process demolishing the much peddled lie that it is only the Catholic Church which is obstructing its passage. With all the deceptions about the RH now publicly exposed and lamely rebutted by its proponents, one wonders what keeps the latter in their efforts at pushing the bill.n

    • Gil

      Pera. Wala kasing pera sa pagpromote ng natural family planning kaya namomroblema yung ibang politiko kung saan kukuha ng pondo for next election. Baka raw dito sa RH bill magkapera sila ng limpak courtesy of UN and Planned Parenthood, etc.

      • Diana Dam

        kung magtrabaho na lang kaya ung mga Senator tulad nating mga regular na mamamayan. As in kayod kalabaw (like us OFWs) at kung maging matino at hindi corrupt lang sila, hindi nila kailangan ng pondo for election purpose. Action speaks louder than words ika nga. Kung may mga produkto nga na walang advertisement ay mabenta kaysa sa may commercial, ganun din kapag sa election, right?

  • nette

    thanks so much for posting all these enlightening articles. To the CBCP, despite all the criticisms, we salute you.

  • aguedoflorencejalin

    Indeed, the harmony of faith and reason builds stronger illumination than just relying on baffled reasoning. A man deeply rooted in his family will see the gray areas of the Bill and therefore finds it necessary to educate the young for them not to fall prey to the lies underneath the Bill. This is a genuine empowerment of women/wives by husbands. Good job Sen. Recto. Assoc. Prof. Aguedo Florence Jalin, Institute of Religion, UST.

  • Lean Andrew E. Barrios

    Very Well Said…n

  • Hein S

    Top Italian Cardinal Martini stated “the catholic church is 200 Years Behind the times” and should CHANGE.nITALY and ISRAEL both have Universal RH for the people. They are the Original christians.

    • Sam

      Uhm.. 200 years behind the times of what? Please specify. ^_^nnnIsrael and Italy had also been contributors to death due to war. Should we also follow suit as well since they are the original Christians? ^_^nnPlease clean up the fallacies in your statements, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

      • rexxar dota

        200 years behind of the times. meaning it’s beliefs are outdated by 200 years. duh.

    • lario

      morality should never be dictated by plurality. Di naman ibig sabihin na kung gusto na ng lahat ay tama na. Hein S, kung sabihin ng buong mundo na tama lang na patayin ka, tingin mo tama ba yon? nnCardinal Martini’s statement has a western perspective, thus limited. In the Philippines, we do accept and help members of broken families. We have ministries for women who got pregnant outside marriage. We, the laity, participate in our Church activities, after all we are the Church, but with great respect and faith to the magisterial office of the Church. Rites and the priests vestments are not pompous, but just right to evoke a sense of awe and mystery, enough to get us acroos the Divine.

      • rexxar dota

        morality should never be dictated by plurality? i guess kung ano ang “immoral” sa rcc maaring ok naman sa iba. on cardinal martini’s statement having a western perspective, well the rcc is a western religion.

    • rexxar dota

      i dont think its right to compare those countries to the philippines. eventhough we have a fairly liberal president, our country is still mostly under the influence of uptight conservatives.

  • myles

    i salute these people who are not afraid to speak the truth…. and also not after the money that it behind all these…

  • Victor Borlaza

    wow. ang good vibes ng article article na to. tama nga naman. Ang RH Bill ay directed dapat para bigyan ng pondo ang mga mag-asawang nais gamitin ang kanilang reproductive capacities. In short those who want to become responsible parents. nakakatawa pala yung Responsible Parenthood bill. How can you try to become a responsible parent when you are preventing yourself from becomming a parent.

  • Hein S

    Majority of catholics in the PH want RH Bill to Pass. Do not be Dictatorial.

    • w..

      Hey, im a catholic. i may not be a devoted catholic, but still, i dont want RH bill. Majority of Filipinos doesnt want this Bill. where are you getting your assumption?

      • Hein S

        SWS Surveys and Pulse Asia Surveys for the last 3 years. nnnAccept the REALITY.

        • mosshuekly

          magkano ibinayad sa SWS? bakit di ako natanong? un bang sagot ng 1,200 respondents reflective of my answer?n

  • truthcomission111

    this is the same guy who proposed bills to increase taxes/VAT/e-vat to the working class Filipinos to solve problems with the national budget, instead of passing bills to audit or eradicate pork barrel<–(para naman sane to reduce corruption around themselves). nakabalik na pala to gagong recto na to sa pwesto. same old same old nuisance aka cancer to society.

  • bart

    If your confident that all catholics will follow your church’s teachings do not be afraid of this bill. If they’re really that devout and loyal, any temptation (RH bill) offered to them will not prosper. But give those who wants to avail of this bill a chance, not everyone can provide proper care for 3 children and up in this country.

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