[In the news] Iloilo groups back RH bill | Sun.Star

Iloilo groups back RH bill | Sun.Star.

VARIOUS groups in the city and province of Iloilo declared their support to the immediate passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill now pending in Congress.

Government officials and employees, civil society groups, media and interfaith groups gathered for a day of the purple ribbon for RH to show their support for the bill at the Amigo Terrace Hotel.

The activity was spearheaded by the Commission on Population and some non-government organizations.

Iloilo first district Representative Janette L. Garin, one of the authors of the bill, said consolidated substitute bill 4244 comes from six House bills authored by Lower House legislators known as “An Act providing for a comprehensive policy on responsible parenthood, reproductive health and population and development and for other purposes.”

The House committee on population and family relations chaired by Biliran Representative Rogelio Espina has accepted the substitute bill referred by HB 96 introduced by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, HB 101 of Garin, HB 513 of Akbayan Representatives Arlene Bag-ao and Walden Bello, HB 1520 of Iloilo second district Representative August Syjuco, and HB 3387 introduced by Gabriela Women’s Party Representatives Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus.

Garin also warned Ilonggos not to mind the threat of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on ex-communication and civil disobedience.

The CBCP has since denied the threats, saying it may have been just an opinion of some bishops and not a stand of the CBCP in general.

Garin also said her group is amenable to the idea of comprehensive discussions of the RH issue, and welcomes the participation of all pro and anti-RH individuals in one forum.

Hopefully, the consolidated House bill will have its day in Congress and be passed before the end of 2011, she said. (Lydia C. Pendon)

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