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Congressional Record

PLENARY PROCEEDINGS OF THE 15th CONGRESS, FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Vol. 4 Tuesday, May 17, 2011 No. 70

CALL TO ORDER private partnership, where both are equally responsible and
accountable for nation-building.
At 4:00 p.m., Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. called the Help us to continue to be a beacon of light for all nations
session to order. as a strong, moral and family- and God-centered nation of
hardworking, self-sacrificing citizens. Let us be agents of
THE SPEAKER. The session is called to order. social and moral change.
We pray as always for Your help so that we can live out
NATIONAL ANTHEM our values not only through prayers like this but more
importantly, as matched by the appropriate work towards a
THE SPEAKER. Please stand for the singing of the just and peaceful society in private, corporate and public
Philippine National Anthem. realms.
Ora et labore. Our prayer and our work—this we offer to
Everybody rose to sing the Philippine National You and our fellowmen and women, and most especially the
Anthem. children, along with our hearts.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
THE SPEAKER. Cong. Ma. Amelita A. Calimbas-Villarosa Spirit.
will lead us in the Invocation. Amen.

Everybody remained standing for the Invocation. THE SPEAKER. Thank you, Congresswoman Calimbas-
Villarosa.
INVOCATION The Floor Leader is recognized.

REP. CALIMBAS-VILLAROSA. In the name of the SUSPENSION OF SESSION


Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Dear Father God, REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, I move that we suspend
We, in Philippine Congress, are gathered here today the session for a few minutes.
seeking to discharge our legislative mandate with honor,
integrity and a healthy respect for the future. THE SPEAKER. The session is suspended.
We stand here, Lord, as the elected Representatives of
the Filipino people, tasked with the responsibility to make It was 4:04 p.m.
their government more responsive to their needs, to reduce
poverty and to eliminate waste. The legislative branch of RESUMPTION OF SESSION
Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, is mandated
not only to legislate laws, but also to safeguard the interests At 4:23 p.m., the session was resumed with Deputy
of the Filipino people by ensuring all laws are in line with the Speaker Jesus Crispin C. Remulla presiding.
spirit and letter of the Constitution.
The current agenda includes the proposed Reproductive THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The Floor
Health Act, which touches on many weighty spheres such as Leader is recognized.
constitutional freedom, legal rights, religion, morality, even
while providing an interesting commentary on the present REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, may we acknowledge
tension on our cultural and social norms. the presence of some guests in the gallery of the Lady from
Thus, we ask that You send the Holy Spirit to guide us the Third District of Pangasinan, Congresswoman Rachel J.
and inform our conscience so that our human conscience Arenas. We have here from Barangay Turac, San Carlos City:
may be filled with Your light and not be clouded by our own Barangay Captain Reynante F. Castañeda, Kagawad Henry
unruly human errors, pride, wrong thinking and unruly Barlaan and Kagawad Danilo Medina.
passions.
Guide us, Lord, and let us be legislators of Your love, THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Please stand
truth and character. Let us lift up the character of our people up to be recognized. Welcome to the House of
to the level of partners, in the truest expression of public- Representatives. (Applause)
2 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

REP. ORTEGA (F.). May we also acknowledge the Ejercito Miraflores


presence, Mr. Speaker, of the guests of the Hon. Jorge Emano Montejo
“Bolet” Banal, the officers of Cubao Lions Club. We have Eriguel Noel
here Lion Jojo Sta. Ana, Lion Nonie Esmedia, Lion Rollie Escudero Nograles
Encarnacion, Lion Manny Cuasay, Lion Santi Lim, Lion Espina Obillo
Angely Lim, Lion Bhoyette Mendiola, Lion Marte Felix and Estrella Olivares
Lion Roger Baoayan. Evardone Ong
Fabian Ortega (F.)
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Please stand Fariñas Ortega (V.)
up to be recognized. Welcome to the House of Fernandez Pacquiao
Representatives. (Applause) Ferrer (A.) Padilla
Flores Paez
ROLL CALL Fortuno Palatino
Fua Palmones
REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, I move that we call the Fuentebella Pancho
roll. Fuentes Pangandaman (M.)
Garay Pangandaman (S.)
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Is there any Garbin Panotes
objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is Garcia (P.) Paras
approved. Garcia (P.J.) Payuyo
The Secretary General will please call the roll. Garcia-Albano Piamonte
Garin (S.) Pichay
The Secretary General called the roll, and the result is Gatchalian Ping-ay
as follows, per Journal No. 70: Golez (A.) Ponce-Enrile
Golez (R.) Puno
PRESENT Gomez Quimbo
Gonzales (A.) Quisumbing
Abad Bichara Gonzales (N.) Ramos
Abayon Binay Gonzalez Relampagos
Acharon Bondoc Guanlao Remulla
Aggabao Cabaluna Gullas Rivera
Aglipay Cabilao Yambao Gunigundo Robes
Albano Cajayon Haresco Rodriguez (I.)
Alcover Calimbas-Villarosa Herrera-Dy Rodriguez (M.)
Almario Calixto-Rubiano Ilagan Rodriguez (R.)
Almonte Canonigo Jaafar Roman
Alvarez (A.) Cari Javier Romualdez
Alvarez (M.) Casiño Joson Romualdo
Amante-Matba Castro Kho (A.) Romulo
Amatong Catamco Kho (D.) Sacdalan
Angara Celeste Lacson-Noel Sakaluran
Angping Cerilles Lagdameo (A.) Salimbangon
Antonino Chipeco Lagdameo (M.) Sambar
Apostol Climaco Lagman San Luis
Aquino Co Lanete Sarmiento (C.)
Arago Cojuangco (E.) Lazatin Sarmiento (M.)
Arenas Cojuangco (K.) Leonen-Pizarro Sema
Arnaiz Cortuna Lico Singson
Arquiza Cosalan Limkaichong Socrates
Arroyo (D.) Cruz-Gonzales Loong Suarez
Bagatsing Cua Loyola Sy-Alvarado
Baguilat Dalog Madrona Tan
Balindong Datumanong Magsaysay (E.) Teodoro
Banal Dayanghirang Mandanas Teves
Barzaga Daza Marañon Tieng
Bataoil De Jesus Marcos Ting
Batocabe Defensor Matugas Tinio
Bautista Del Mar Mellana Tomawis
Bello Dimaporo (F.) Mendoza (M.) Treñas
Belmonte (F.) Duavit Mercado (H.) Tugna
Belmonte (V.) Durano Mercado (R.) Tupas
Benitez Dy Mercado-Revilla Ty
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 3

Umali (C.) Villafuerte APPROVAL OF THE JOURNAL


Umali (R.) Villarica
Unico Yap (A.) REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, I move that we approve
Vargas-Alfonso Yap (S.) the Journal of the previous session, Journal No. 69, Monday,
Velarde Yu May 16, 2011.
Velasco Zubiri
Vergara THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Is there any
objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; Journal No. 69 is
THE SECRETARY GENERAL. The Speaker is present. hereby approved.
Mr. Speaker, the roll call shows that 207 Members The Floor Leader is recognized.
responded to the call.
REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, I move that we take up
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). With 207 the Reference of Business.
Members present, a quorum is hereby declared.
The Floor Leader is recognized. THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Is there any
objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is
REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, may we acknowledge approved.
the presence of a former colleague. Ka Satur Ocampo is here. The Secretary General is directed to read the Reference
of Business.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Ka Satur
Ocampo is welcome to the House anytime. (Applause) REFERENCE OF BUSINESS

REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, we also have other guests. The Secretary General read the following House Bills
May we acknowledge the presence of the members of the and Resolutions on First Reading, Communications and
Secretariat and officials from the House of Representatives Committee Reports, and the Deputy Speaker made the
of the Kingdom of Thailand. We have here Mrs. Chollada corresponding references:
Kunkloy, Mrs. Busrakhum Chaosiri, Miss Sirinyapa
Jantapirak, Mr. Rungroj Sripirom, Miss Napatip Nupoontong, BILLS ON FIRST READING
Miss Phan-Kwan Ming-Kwan, Miss Pichuda Jatu-Prayoon
and Mr. Harin Sutabutra. House Bill No. 4579, entitled:
“AN ACT MANDATING THE COMPLETION OF
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Please stand THE CONSTRUCTION OF MAASIN CITY
up to be recognized. Welcome to the House of AIRPORT IN MAASIN CITY, SOUTHERN
Representatives. (Applause) LEYTE”
The Floor Leader is recognized. By Representative Mercado (R.)
TO THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION
REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mr. Speaker, we also have the guests of
the Hon. Edcel C. Lagman, the Hon. Sharon S. Garin, the Hon. House Bill No. 4580, entitled:
Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr. and the Hon. Angelo B. Palmones. “AN ACT CREATING A FULL CONSULATE GENERAL
May we acknowledge the presence of the delegates from the OFFICE IN NAGOYA, JAPAN AND
Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates, International; APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR”
Aksyon Kababaihan; Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino; By Representatives Ilagan and De Jesus
Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines; Kapisanan ng TO THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND
mga Kamag-anak ng Migranteng Manggagawang Pilipino; THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
Likhaan Center for Women’s Health; Manggagawang
Kababaihang Mithi ay Paglaya; Pinagsamang Lakas ng House Bill No. 4581, entitled:
Kababaihan at Kabataan; REPROCEN; Zone One Tondo “AN ACT REQUIRING ALL TELECOMMUNICATION
Organization; Woman Health Philippines; Young Women’s COMPANIES TO SECURE BUSINESS PERMITS
Choice; and Family Planning Organization of the Philippines. AND LICENSES IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT
May we also acknowledge the presence of the UNITS WHERE THEIR RESPECTIVE CELL SITES
representatives from Filipino Free Thinkers; Freedom from ARE LOCATED”
Debt Coalition-Women’s Committee; Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa By Representative Tiangco
ng mga Maralita ng Lungsod; Pambansang Kalipunan ng TO THE COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION AND
mga Manggagawang Impormal sa Pilipinas; Partido Lakas ng COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
Masa; Partido ng Manggagawa; Sarilaya; Philippine
Commission on Women; and Youth Consortium. They are House Bill No. 4582, entitled:
the guests of the Hon. Mel Senen S. Sarmiento. “AN ACT CREATING THE SPECIAL PROGRAM FOR
THE EMPLOYMENT OF NURSES IN URBAN AND
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Please stand RURAL SERVICES (NURSE)”
up to be recognized. The guests are all welcome to the House By Representative Ty
of Representatives. (Applause) TO THE COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND
The Floor Leader is recognized. EMPLOYMENT
4 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

House Bill No. 4583, entitled: House Bill No. 4592, entitled:
“AN ACT ESTABLISHING A MAGNA CARTA FOR “AN ACT MANDATING BARANGAYS TO DECLARE
DAY CARE WORKERS, PROVIDING FUNDS A TREE PLANTING DAY DURING THE
THEREFOR AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” BARANGAY ASSEMBLY MEETING,
By Representative Quimbo APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFORE AND FOR
TO THE COMMITTEE ON WELFARE OF CHILDREN OTHER PURPOSES”
By Representatives Co, Batocabe and Garbin
House Bill No. 4584, entitled: TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON REFORESTATION
“AN ACT TO CREATE THE SOCIAL HOUSING
DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCE CORPORATION, House Bill No. 4593, entitled:
PRESCRIBING ITS POWERS AND FUNCTIONS, “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE INCREASE IN THE
AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” MONTHLY PENSIONS UNDER THE SOCIAL
By Representative Quimbo SECURITY SYSTEM, AMENDING FOR THIS
TO THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT PURPOSE SECTION 12 OF R.A. 1161, OTHERWISE
ENTERPRISES AND PRIVATIZATION AND THE KNOWN AS THE SOCIAL SECURITY LAW, AS
COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND URBAN AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”
DEVELOPMENT By Representative Cagas
TO THE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT
House Bill No. 4587, entitled: ENTERPRISES AND PRIVATIZATION
“AN ACT DECLARING EVERY TWENTY-SIXTH DAY
OF FEBRUARY OF EACH YEAR AS ‘DIA DE LA House Bill No. 4594, entitled:
CIUDAD DE ZAMBOANGA’AND AS A SPECIAL “AN ACT REGULATING THE COMPENSATION OF
NON-WORKING HOLIDAY IN THE CITY OF PUBLIC UTILITY VEHICLE DRIVERS BY
ZAMBOANGA TO COMMEMORATE THE REQUIRING PUBLIC TRANSPORT OPERATORS
DECLARATION OF THE CITY OF ZAMBOANGA TO PAY THEM FIXED MONTHLY SALARIES AND
AS A CHARTERED CITY” PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS
By Representative Climaco THEREOF”
TO THE COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF LAWS By Representative Ty
TO THE COMMITTEE ON LABORAND EMPLOYMENT
House Bill No. 4588, entitled:
“AN ACT DECLARING EVERY TWELFTH DAY OF RESOLUTIONS
OCTOBER OF EACH YEAR AS ‘FIESTA PILAR’
AND AS A SPECIAL NON-WORKING HOLIDAY IN House Resolution No. 1224, entitled:
THE CITY OF ZAMBOANGA TO “RESOLUTION EXPRESSING THE PROFOUND
COMMEMORATE, AMENDING FOR THAT SYMPATHY AND SINCERE CONDOLENCES OF
PURPOSE SECTION 1 OF REPUBLICACT NO. 7350” THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON THE
By Representative Climaco DEATH OF FORMER SAMAR REPRESENTATIVE
TO THE COMMITTEE ON REVISION OF LAWS AND CALBAYOG CITY MAYOR REYNALDO S.
UY AND URGING THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL
House Bill No. 4589, entitled: POLICE TO CONDUCT A THOROUGH
“AN ACT PROHIBITING THE ACCESS OF MINORS INVESTIGATION OF HIS ASSASSINATION”
TO ALCOHOLIC OR INTOXICATING LIQUOR OR By Representative Sarmiento (M.)
BEVERAGE AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
By Representative Cajayon
TO THE COMMITTEE ON WELFARE OF CHILDREN House Resolution No. 1225, entitled:
“A RESOLUTION URGING THE HOUSE OF
House Bill No. 4590, entitled: REPRESENTATIVES TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY
“AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE MANDATORY ON THE RECENT APPLICATION OF THERMA
UNIVERSALHEALTHCARECOVERAGEPROGRAM MARINE INC. FOR TWO (2) ENERGY SUPPLY
ANDAPPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR” AGREEMENTS WITH AGUSAN DEL NORTE
By Representative Fortuno ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INC. (ANECO) AND
TO THE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH DAVAO DEL SUR ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE INC.
(DANECO) WHEN CHEAPER POWER SUPPLY
House Bill No. 4591, entitled: FROM THE AGUS-PULANGUI HYDROPOWER
“AN ACT REQUIRING ALL COLLEGES AND COMPLEX IS READILYAVAILABLE”
UNIVERSITIES TO PROVIDE SCHOLARSHIP By Representative Mendoza (R.)
GRANTS TO POOR BUT DESERVING STUDENTS TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
REPRESENTING AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT (5%)
OF THE TOTAL STUDENT POPULATION” House Resolution No. 1226, entitled:
By Representative Fortuno “RESOLUTION STRONGLY URGING THE
TO THE COMMITTEE ON HIGHER AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION TO
EDUCATION CONDUCT AN INQUIRY ON THE ANOMALOUS
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 5

PRACTICE OF REQUIRING FERRY PASSENGERS LEGISLATION, INTO THE STATUS OF THE


TO COMPULSORY PURCHASE AND PAY A IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 16 MAY 2008
TRAVEL INSURANCE PRIOR TO EMBARKING A MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN
VESSEL WHICH IS ALLEGEDLY WITH THE THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL OIL COMPANY -
IMPRIMATUR OF THE PHILIPPINE PORTS ALTERNATIVE FUELS CORPORATION AND THE
AUTHORITY” FOURTH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT OF CEBU
By Representative Romualdo FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JATROPHA
TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES CURCAS PLANTATION IN CEBU, AND
RECOMMEND REMEDIAL MEASURES
House Resolution No. 1227, entitled: THEREFOR”
“RESOLUTION HONORING THE LIFE, RECOGNIZING By Representative Salimbangon
THE CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THE TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
EMPOWERMENT OF FILIPINO WOMEN AND
EXPRESSING PROFOUND CONDOLENCES OF House Resolution No. 1232, entitled:
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO THE “RESOLUTION URGING THE DEPARTMENT OF
BEREAVED FAMILY OF THE LATE JUSTICE FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO MANIFEST SUPPORT
LEONOR INES LUCIANO, MAY 8, 1919-APRIL 29, AND MAKE REPRESENTATIONS TO THE
2011” FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED
By Representatives Ilagan and De Jesus STATES OF AMERICA IN THE INCLUSION OF THE
TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES PHILIPPINES AS ONE OF THE ELIGIBLE
COUNTRIES UNDER THE GUAM-
House Resolution No. 1228, entitled: COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN
“RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON MARIANA ISLANDS (CNMI) VISA WAIVER
APPROPRIATIONS AND THE COMMITTEE ON PROGRAM”
LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO INQUIRE, IN AID OF By Representatives Co, Batocabe and Garbin
LEGISLATION, INTO THE GOVERNMENT’S TO THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FAILURE TO BUILD A SINGLE FIRE STATION IN
613 MUNICIPALITIES NATIONWIDE, AS House Resolution No. 1233, entitled:
REQUIRED BYA 21-YEAR-OLD LAW” “RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON
By Representative Ty AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES RESOURCES
TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY IN AID OF
LEGISLATION INTO THE CONTINUING ILLEGAL
House Resolution No. 1229, entitled: EXPORTATION AND EXPLOITATION OF
“A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING AND PHILIPPINE CORALS, AS WELL AS THE
ACKNOWLEDGING THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF DEGRADATION OF PHILIPPINE CORAL REEFS”
THE IGLESIA NI CRISTO AND ITS FOUNDING By Representative Aglipay
EXECUTIVE MINISTER BRO. FELIX Y. MANALO TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
TO PHILIPPINE SOCIETY ON THE OCCASION OF
THE 125TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY OF BRO. FELIX House Resolution No. 1234, entitled:
Y. MANALO” “A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON
By Representative Quimbo LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, TO INVESTIGATE,
TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES AID OF LEGISLATION, THE COMPLIANCE OF
BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS CIRCULAR
House Resolution No. 1230, entitled: NO. 268 AND OTHER RELATED ISSUANCES ON
“A RESOLUTION CALLING ON THE HOUSE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF THE
REPRESENTATIVES, THROUGH THE HOUSE BANKING INDUSTRY WORKERS’RIGHT TO JOB
COMMITTEE ON LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT SECURITYAND ON EXISTING STATUTORYAND
TO CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION IN AID OF REGULATORY RULES ON PERMISSIBLE JOB
LEGISLATION OVER THE MATTER OF ALLEGED CONTRACTING”
CONDUCT AND ACTS COMMITTED BY By Representatives Bello and Bag-ao
COMMISSIONER OF THE NATIONAL LABOR TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
RELATIONS COMMISSION LEADING TO A
CHARGE OF EXERTING PRESSURE AND House Resolution No. 1235, entitled:
INFLUENCE OVER LABOR ARBITER TO DECIDE “A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON
A LABOR CASE HEARD BY THE LATTER IN FOREIGN AFFAIRS, TO IMMEDIATELY
FAVOR AND TO BENEFIT A CERTAIN PARTY” CONDUCT AN INVESTIGATION, IN AID OF
By Representative Sy-Alvarado LEGISLATION, THE UNWARRANTED DELAY OF
TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN
PROCESSING, RENEWING AND RELEASING OF
House Resolution No. 1231, entitled: PASSPORTS TO FILIPINO APPLICANTS”
“A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON By Representatives Bello and Bag-ao
ENERGY TO CONDUCT AN INQUIRY, IN AID OF TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
6 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

ADDITIONAL COAUTHORS Letter dated May 10, 2011 of Hitoshi Ozawa, Minister and
Head, Political Section, Embassy of Japan, transmitting
Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo for House Bills No. 421, a copy of two (2) resolutions adopted by their House of
599 and 617; Representatives and House Councilors.
Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez for House Bill No. 938; TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
Rep. Cinchona C. Cruz-Gonzales for House Bill No. 1504;
Rep. Maria Evita R. Arago for House Bill No. 2471; COMMITTEE REPORTS
Rep. Maria Isabelle “Beng” G. Climaco for House Bill No.
3391; Report by the Committee on Labor and Employment
Rep. Bernadette R. Herrera-Dy for House Bills No. 3469 (Committee Report No. 911), re H. No. 4643, entitled:
and 4352; “AN ACT EXPANDING THE PROHIBITED ACTS OF
Reps. Elpidio F. Barzaga Jr. and Bernardo M. Vergara for DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN ON
House Bill No. 3485; ACCOUNT OF SEX, AMENDING FOR THE
Rep. Pedro B. Acharon Jr. for House Bills No. 3537, 4365 PURPOSE ARTICLES 135 AND 137 OF
and 4464; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 442, AS AMENDED,
Rep. Godofredo V. Arquiza for House Bill No. 3933; OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE LABOR CODE OF
Reps. Pastor M. Alcover Jr., Jorge T. Almonte, Jose S. THE PHILIPPINES”
Aquino II, Diosdado “Dato” M. Arroyo, Nicanor M. Briones, recommending its approval in substitution of House Bill
Teddy A. Casiño, Florencio T. Flores Jr., David L. Kho, Scott Nos. 51, 421, 1452 and 1692
Davies S. Lanete, M.D. and Isidro S. Rodriguez Jr. for House Sponsors: Representatives Ong, Rodriguez (R.), Angara,
Bill No. 3977; Gunigundo and Yap (S.)
Rep. Cesar V. Sarmiento for House Bills No. 3977, 4365 TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
and 4464;
Rep. Ma. Theresa B. Bonoan-David for House Bills No. Report by the Committee on Banks and Financial
4016 and 4044; Intermediaries (Committee Report No. 912), re H. No. 4655,
Rep. Linabelle Ruth R. Villarica for House Bills No. 4212, entitled:
4217 and 4434; “AN ACT STRENGTHENING THE TRANSPARENCY
Rep. Daryl Grace J. Abayon for House Bill No. 4276; AND DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS IN THE USE
Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas for House Bills No. 4365 and OF CREDIT CARD FACILITIES, AMENDING FOR
4464; THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 8484,
Rep. Sherwin N. Tugna for House Bills No. 350, 351, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE ‘ACCESS DEVICES
1213, 1214, 1482 and 1563 and House Resolutions No. 69 and REGULATION ACT OF 1998’ ”
178; recommending its approval in substitution of House Bill
Rep. Anthony Rolando T. Golez Jr. for House Bills No. No. 3675
1980, 2472, 2684 and 4363 and House Resolution No. 1170; Sponsors: Representatives Apostol and Romulo
Rep. Rene L. Relampagos for House Bills No. 3046, 3133 TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
and 3200 and House Resolution No. 791;
Reps. Eduardo R. Gullas and Emil L. Ong for House Bills Report by the Committee on Housing and Urban Development
No. 3475 and 4365 and House Resolution No. 1170; (Committee Report No. 913), re H. No. 4656, entitled:
Reps. Luzviminda C. Ilagan and Raymond V. Palatino for “AN ACT INSTITUTING REFORMS IN THE
House Bills No. 3475, 3952, 4365 and 4409 and House GOVERNMENT’S DRIVEAGAINSTPROFESSIONAL
Resolutions No. 858 and 1170; SQUATTERSAND SQUATTING RACKETEER/S OR
Rep. Sergio F. Apostol for House Bills No. 3475 and 4365 SYNDICATES, STRENGTHENING THE
and House Resolution No. 1170; and MECHANISMS THEREFOR,AMENDING FOR THE
Reps. Romeo M. Acop and Paolo S. Javier for House PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7279, AND FOR
Resolution No. 1031. OTHER PURPOSES”
recommending its approval in substitution of House Bill
WITHDRAWAL OF COAUTHORSHIP Nos. 2145 and 4101
Sponsors: Representatives Valencia, Bagatsing and
Rep. David L. Kho for House Resolution No. 1135. Calimbas-Villarosa
TO THE COMMITTEE ON RULES
COMMUNICATIONS
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The Dep.
Letter dated April 28, 2011 of Esteban B. Conejos, Jr. Majority Leader is recognized.
Undersecretary, Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant
Workers’ Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs, CONSIDERATION OF H.B. NO. 4244
submitting a soft copy in CD of the Report to Congress Continuation
on Assistance to Nationals for the period July to
December 2010, pursuant to Section 33 of Republic Act PERIOD OF SPONSORSHIP AND DEBATE
No. 8042.
TO THE COMMITTEE ON OVERSEAS WORKERS REP. BINAY. Mr. Speaker, I move that we resume the
AFFAIRS consideration on Second Reading of House Bill No. 4244, as
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 7

contained in Committee Report No. 664 and I ask that the particularly, it focuses on the reduction of maternal and infant
Secretary General be directed to read the title of the bill. mortality which is part of our commitments to the United
Nations Millennium Development Goals. The RH Bill is also
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Is there any sustainable development-oriented since we could not
objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is possibly achieve sustainable development without
approved. addressing the problem of population.
The Secretary General is directed to read the title of the
measure. REP. BAGATSING. Yes. Mr. Speaker, that was very
elaborate, from the Gentleman from Albay. First, he mentioned
THE SECRETARY GENERAL. House Bill No. 4244, that it is a poverty alleviation measure, then he mentioned
entitled: AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE health. It gives me the impression that this is considered a
POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, be-all and end-all that will eliminate poverty. Para bagang
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, AND POPULATION AND kapag ipinasa ang batas na ito ay mawawala na ang kahirapan.
DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Ganoon ba kaganda ang panukalang batas na ito?

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The Dep. REP. LAGMAN. Hindi po. Wala hong RH advocate na
Majority Leader may proceed. nagsasabi niyan. Ang nagsasabi ho niyan ay iyong mga anti-
RH advocates. Inaamin ho namin na itong RH Bill is not a
REP. BINAY. Mr. Speaker, the parliamentary situation is magic wand, it is not a magic pill to make poverty vanish from
that it is now in the period of sponsorship and debate. With this earth; it will only help alleviate poverty. Marami hong
the authority of the Chairman of the Committee, we would kailangang gawin ang gobyerno upang ma-achieve natin ang
like to move for the recognition of the Honorable Lagman to pag-alis ng poverty at ang isa po dito ay ang pagpasa nitong
defend the bill and the Honorable Bagatsing to interpellate. Reproductive Health Bill, which would effectively, as an
outcome, mitigate the population growth rate because an
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The Hon. Edcel inordinate population growth rate would aggravate poverty.
C. Lagman is recognized to defend the measure and the Hon. Iyan po talaga ang resulta ng pag-aaral dito ho sa bansa at sa
Amado S. Bagatsing is hereby recognized for the first labas ng bansa. Ito rin po ang lumalabas sa pag-aaral ng
interpellation. United Nations sapagkat halos lahat, except the United
States, in the first 12 most populous countries, sila po ay
REP. BAGATSING. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. mababang-mababa sa human development indicators. Ngunit
I would like to thank at the outset, Mr. Speaker, our iyong tatlong bansa na talagang mataas ang human
Deputy Speaker, Cong. Pabling P. Garcia, for acceding to my development indicators ay masyadong maliit ang populasyon,
request that I be given the chance to interpellate the honorable and these are empirical data which could not be rebutted.
Sponsor of this proposed House bill.
Now, is the Gentleman from Albay willing to clarify some REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, it appears that poverty
issues pertaining to his bill? and health ay parang extra lang sa bill na ito. It appears that
the bill is more centered on depopulating the country, on
REP. LAGMAN. Willingly, Mr. Speaker, to the population management. Para bagang ang problema ay ang
distinguished Gentleman from Manila, a colleague since the dami ng tao at ang nais ng panukalang batas na ito ay i-
Eighth Congress, just like the distinguished Gentleman from manage ang ating populasyon. Hindi ba ang mga malulusog
Cebu, the Hon. Pablo Garcia. na ekonomiya sa buong mundo tulad ng China at India ay
mayroong mahigit isang bilyong tao? Economically strong
REP. BAGATSING. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. naman sila. So, hindi yata kapani-paniwala na ang dahilan ay
Mr. Speaker, I would just like to be guided by the ang ating lumolobong populasyon sapagkat, kagaya ng
honorable proponent/Sponsor of this bill: is there a compelling sinabi ko kanina, dalawang napakalaking bansa na halos tig-
reason for us to pursue with his proposed House bill? What iisang bilyon o mahigit pa ang dami ng kanilang tao ay hindi
is the compelling reason, Mr. Speaker? naman masasabing mahirap na bansa. Anytime, China can
overtake the US in terms of economy. So I cannot see the
REP. LAGMAN. Definitely, Mr. Speaker, there are a logic of the population issue in the proposed bill, Mr. Speaker.
number of compelling reasons on why we should now enact Besides, kung population ang pag-uusapan, I can see in this
the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill. First, it is a poverty bill that there are condoms, contraceptives and abortifacients.
alleviation measure because empirical studies both here and Is it not that itong mga contraceptives na inyong nili-legitimize
abroad have documented the linkage between population by way of legislation, ay existing na at nakukuha na sa
development and poverty. It is also a rights-based proposed anumang tindahan? May nagbibigay pa nga ng libre kaya
legislation wherein we uphold the rights of parents— bakit kinakailangan pa nating ipasa ito samantalang naririyan
particularly women who bear the brunt of pregnancy, na ang mga iyan? Bakit kinakailangan pang paglaanan ito ng
childbirth and childcare—to freely and responsively determine pondo samantalang ang pondong iyan ay magagamit naman
the number and the spacing of their children. This is pursuant natin sa mas maraming bagay tulad ng kalusugan at
to international conventions, more importantly, the one which edukasyon? Iyong mga nais ng Kinatawan na gawing ligal sa
is known as the Declaration of Teheran to which the panukalang ito, hindi naman hindi maaabot ng tao ang mga
Philippines was a signatory almost 43 years ago. This is also ito sapagkat sa kasalukuyan, right now, as we speak, may
a health-based or health-oriented legislation. More local government units na nagbibigay ng seminar on
8 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

responsible parenthood. Mayroon din pong mga local abortifacients o kaya ng mga contraceptives, o ng ano pang
governments at NGOs na nagbibigay ng condom. Mayroon mga alituntunin. Nakita ko sa bill that so many agencies will
din pong mga ibang artificial means of contraception na be involved and thus, it will need billions and billions of
ibinibigay. Bakit kinakailangan pang paggugulan ng pansin pesos.
ng pamahalaan ito at lagyan pa ng pondo ang mga nais gawin But let me just first go to abortion. Ang feel po ng marami
ng Kinatawan samantalang mayroon na at nangyayari na ang ay talagang dito ay may nakatago o may deception na
mga ito ngayon? nilalaman ito tungkol sa paglaglag ng unborn child ng isang
nanay na buntis. Na dito ay nakatago ang abortion bagaman
REP. LAGMAN. Unang-una ho, ito ay hindi nagli- sinasabi ng Sponsor na iligal ito. In the first place, mayroon
legitimize ng contraceptives sapagkat sa ngayon ay wala akong nabasa rito na ginamit ang word “universal.” Bakit po
naman na batas declaring contraceptives as illegal. There is natin isinasama ang “universal” dito sa ating panukalang
nothing to legitimize. Ang ating Saligang Batas ay hindi naman batas? Ang batas na ito ay para ba sa buong mundo o ang
bina-ban ang contraceptives sapagkat ayon sa pagsusuri ng batas na ito ay para sa Pilipinas lamang?
international and local studies, ang contraceptives ay hindi
abortifacients. Bakit kailangan pa ang ating panukalang batas REP. LAGMAN. Marami hong concerns ang natalakay
na ito kung available na sa mga botika ang contraceptives? doon sa tanong ng ating kaibigan. Sana ay isa-isa lamang
Unang-una, availability is not access. para masagot nating lahat.

REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker. REP. BAGATSING. Okey, isa-isahin natin.

REP. LAGMAN. Kahit na available sa botika ang mga REP. LAGMAN. Balikan natin ang unang tanong tungkol
ito, iyong mga mahihirap, iyong marginalized sectors, iyong sa Tsina. Alam ho natin na China is the number one most
informal sectors ay walang access diyan. Isa pa, kailangan populous country in the world. Pero kung titingnan natin
ang massive information campaign upang mabigyan ng sapat ang ranking ng Tsina sa Human Development Index, no. 89
na impormasyon ang mga magulang at kababaihan hinggil sa siya. Ang layu-layo ho sa mga nasyon with a lean population.
family planning at contraceptive use. Bakit kailangan natin ang RH Bill?
Ngunit gusto ko lang ipaliwanag na ang panukalang Kailangan nating i-institutionalize ang isang nationwide
batas na ito ay hindi naman nakasentro sa pills and condoms and comprehensive law on responsible parenthood,
or injectables and IUDs. Dito dinadala ang debate ng mga reproductive health and population and development
anti-RH Bill sapagkat itong ating panukala ay malawak ang sapagkat ang lahat ng mga policies natin ngayon ay
coverage. Kasama rito ang family planning. Kasama rito ang intermittently being implemented and are subject to the biases
maternal and infant health and nutrition, including of the changing administration. Pasulput-sulpot po lamang
breastfeeding. Kasama rito ang prohibition of abortion but ang ating mga polisiya hinggil sa family planning. Sa
management of abortion complications. Kasama ho rito ang katunayan nga, sa nakaraang administrasyon, ang isinulong
prevention and management of HIV-AIDS and other sexually- lang ng POPCOM ay natural family planning at nakalimutan
transmitted diseases. Kasama rin dito ang prevention and na nila na mayroon iba pang methods of family planning
cure of sexual dysfunction and infertility. Kasama rin dito kaparis ng modern methods. Kaya importante talaga na i-
ang pag-prevent ng violence against women, encouragement intitutionalize natin ang reproductive health. Ang mga polisiya
of participation by men in family planning and giving ng nakaraang administrasyon ay hinggil lamang sa family
reproductive health education sa ating mga estudyante and planning ngunit ang reproductive health, nasabi ko na nga,
the youth. There is generally a default on the part of parents ang coverage nito ay malawak at hindi lang family planning.
in giving information about sex to their children and so, there Ang coverage nito, at nasabi ko na ito kanina, ay mga
is a need for formal education on reproductive health and importanteng concerns from maternal and infant health up to
sexuality. curing infertility. Ang problema ng hindi nagbubuntis ay
kasama na po rito para mabigyan sila ng pag-asa na maka-
REP. BAGATSING. Yes, Mr. Speaker. Marami pong produce ng supling. Hindi po ito covered doon sa mga
binanggit ang honorable Sponsor. Nabanggit niya ang sinabing nakaraan na mga polisiya. Ngayon naman sa abortion,
tungkol sa abortion at nabanggit niya ang karapatan ng mga ang lahat hong pag-aaral ng United Nations, ng international
babae pero there are existing laws that can cover those. The community at dito sa atin sa Pilipinas ay nagsasabi na ang
Department of Health can also offer information through the contraceptives ay hindi abortifacients. Mayroon ho ritong
barangay health workers, or the LGUs, for that matter, can submission na expert opinion ng UNDP, UNFPA at WHO, at
participate in disseminating this information. In other words, ito ang binigay na expert opinion sa Mababang
iyong mga nais gawin ng panukalang batas ay nangyayari Kapulungan—nakalagay ho rito na ang contraceptives are
na. It is not that it is totally out of the blue that our people not abortifacients. Hindi ho totoo na abortifacients ang mga
have no access to information or that they have no access to contraceptives. Ang katunayan nga ho ay hindi po pro-
free contraceptives. Maski ang mahihirap ay nakakakuha abortion ang RH Bill; ito ay anti-abortion sapagkat iyong
naman nito. Sabi ko nga kanina, may mga NGOs at mga ibang regular at tamang paggamit ng family planning methods,
bansa na namimigay ng libreng condom. In other words, hindi including contraception, will reduce abortion rates by 85
na ito bago, ito ay existing na. So, parang nakikita kong wala percent. Kung 85 porsyento ang mare-reduce sa abortion
namang saysay, wika nga, para ipasa pa ang bill na ito dahil rate ay hindi na kailangan i-legalize ang abortion. Bakit 85
existing na ang nakasaad diyan. Unless, ang talagang nais porsyento ang mare-reduce? Sapagkat naiiwasan iyong
nito ay pondohan ng Kongreso ang pagbibili ng mga tinatawag na mistimed and unwanted pregnancies na pinapa-
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 9

abort. Ang mga nagpapa-abort naman ay hindi mga teenagers; couple the words “natural” with “artificial” and invoke the
ang karamihan dito ay mga may asawa, young Catholic word “legal”?
women who cannot afford another child. Iyan po ang datos
na nakuha mula sa mga pagsusuring empirical dito sa ating REP. LAGMAN. Bago ko ho sagutin iyan, marami ho siyang
bansa at sa labas ng bansa. tanong na nauna riyan na kailangan ding sagutin. Unang-una,
tama ho kayo, iyong pananaw ninyo tungkol sa contraception
REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, hindi ko yata tanggap ay very simplistic. Kayo mismo ang nagsabi niyan. The
na ang contraceptives ay hindi nali-link sa abortion. Ang mechanism of contraception would be two: one, to prevent the
contraceptives ay humaharang sa pagbubuntis—para huwag fertilization of the egg by the sperm. Kapag wala pong
magkita ang egg at ang sperm. We are playing with semantics fertilization, wala hong buhay at kapag walang buhay, there is
here. Ini-stop mo ang pagkikita ng dalawa, sabihin na natin no fetus to abort. The second mechanism is …
para mas madaling intindihin ng masa. Pag hinadlangan mo,
sa Ingles, ina-abort mo. Iyon ba ay mahirap bang intindihin? REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, hinarang mo nga ang
When you stop something from fulfilling its obligation— buhay, eh.
para hindi sila mag-meet—eh di hinaharang mo. Pag
hinaharang mo ang buhay, pinipigilan mo ang buhay, ina- REP. LAGMAN. Alam po ninyo, ang Saligang Batas ay
abort mo ang buhay. Mahirap po bang intindihin iyon? When nagsasabing “from conception.” Ang ibig hong sabihin, na-
we do not want something to happen, we abort it. Ganoon po conceive na and so, we need to protect the unborn. Dito ho
ka-simplistic ang interpretation doon. ay wala pang conception, wala ngang fertilization.
Ngayon, sa bill po, nakalagay din dito at madalas
banggitin ang mga salitang “universal” at “legal.” Hindi ko REP. BAGATSING. Paanong mako-conceive kung
maintindihan kung bakit nababanggit lagi iyon samantalang hinaharang nga.
ito ay para lamang sa Pilipinas at kapag naging batas ito,
magiging ligal naman talaga ito. Para bagang may nakatago REP. LAGMAN. Teka muna, …
po, Mr. Speaker. Kagaya rito sa Section 4 on Definition of
Terms, the modern methods of family planning—nakalagay REP. BAGATSING. Papaano magkakaroon ng fertilization
po rito— “refer to safe, effective and legal methods, whether kung hinaharang …
natural or artificial.” Kapag po natural, ligal naman iyon.
REP. LAGMAN. Puwede po ba ako muna ang sumagot
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). May the Chair bago tayo mag-interrupt?
first make an appeal to the Members of the House to please
listen to the debates so that those who wish to interpellate REP. BAGATSING. Please proceed.
will not repeat the same questions, as was done in the past.
So, please refrain from doing something else. Please listen to REP. LAGMAN. Ang isa pang mechanism ng
the debates and give due respect to those who have the contraception is to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg.
floor. Kapag iyong sperm ay hindi na-reach iyong egg, wala ring
Thank you. Please continue. fertilization at kung walang fertilization, there is no life to be
aborted sapagkat wala hong fetus. Iyan po talaga ang sinasabi
REP. BAGATSING. Let me restate, Mr. Speaker, Section 4 sa panukalang batas— “to prevent conception,” “to prevent
on Definition of Terms, the phrase “modern methods of family pregnancy.” Ngayon, bakit sinasabing “universal”?
planning” refers to safe, effective and legal methods, whether Sapagkat ang karapatan ng magulang, lalo na ng mga
natural or artificial, that are registered, to prevent pregnancy. kababaihan, to responsibly and freely determine the number
Now, the natural method is legal. Wala namang iligal sa natural and spacing of their children is an international human right.
method kaya bakit isinama sa artificial? Para bang o medyo That is a universal right. Bakit naman sinasabing “legal”?
may konting deceiving dito, Mr. Speaker. First of all, the Sinasabing “legal” upang idiin na ang panukalang ito ay hindi
natural method is legal. The artificial method, probably, is sumasang-ayon sa abortion sapagkat ang abortion ay iligal.
illegal. That is why we are invoking the word “legal” here. Bakit isinama ang “natural” doon sa modern methods?
Anyway, I will just summarize all these legal things para isang Sapagkat sa panukala ay pino-promote nga ang lahat ng
sagot na lang po, ano po. natural at modern family planning methods which are legal—
hindi ho abortion—which are medically safe. In other words,
REP. LAGMAN. Hindi. Mabuti yata isa-isa hong itanong ang mga contraceptives ay registered sa gobyerno,
para hindi natin ma-miss. particularly with the Food and Drugs Administration, at ang
pangatlong standard ay, ito ay effective. Kaya iyon ang
REP. BAGATSING. O sige. Okey lang. sinasabing “legal” at sinasakop ang lahat ng mga family
planning methods from the natural to the modern. Ano naman
REP. LAGMAN. Kung hinahalu-halo ho, baka iyong iba ho ang masama riyan? Sapagkat ang principal proposition
ay hindi ko masagot. dito sa ating panukalang batas ay freedom of informed choice.
Wala hong pilitan. Kung ayaw ay ayaw, kung gusto ay
REP. BAGATSING. Okey, sige, Mr. Speaker. Ang tanong: tutulungan ng gobyerno. Kung gusto ng natural family
bakit kinakailangang isama ang natural method as being planning method, tutulungan ng gobyerno. Kung gusto ng
“legal” when we all know that the natural method is really modern family planning method, tutulungan ng gobyerno.
legal? It is the artificial, probably, that is illegal. Why did he Neither the State nor the Church has the authority to enforce
10 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

upon the faithful or the citizens any particular family planning unwanted pregnancies or they cannot afford another child,
method. That is the option of parents, of couples and of sapagkat wala silang impormasyon on how to prevent
women. Ito po ang sentral na panukala rito sa ating RH Bill. unwanted and mistimed pregnancies? Sila ba ay pababayaan
Sino naman ho ang talagang mag-o-object sa freedom of natin? Sila ba ay hindi na gagamutin? Sila ba ay itatakwil ng
informed choice na walang pilitan? There is neither komunidad? Hindi ho because that is an un-Christian and
compulsion nor reward in adopting a particular method or in inhumane treatment of those who have suffered the trauma
not adopting a method at all. of an abortion.
Kaparis din po ito ng encounter ng Philippine troops, ng
REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, at the right time, I would military at iyong mga rebelde Kapag iyong isang rebelde ay
go back to the statement na “walang pilitan,” pero may mga tinamaan, nasugatan, hindi ba obligasyon ng gobyerno na
penal sanctions sa Section 29 dito sa mga hindi susunod sa dalhin iyong rebelde sa nearest medical facility at huwag
panukalang batas na ito. Anyway, I will go back to some of naman hayaang mag-hemorrhage siya at mamatay? Hindi ba
the sections in the proposed bill that this Representation ho? Kaya kung ginagawa natin iyan, ng gobyerno, ng military,
feels na preparasyon ito para sa abortion. So, please clarify na dalhin sa medical facility ang isang nasugatan na rebelde–
this again. hindi nating sinasabi that we are favoring rebellion, hindi ho,
Under the same section on the Definition of Terms, under but we are just trying to humanely treat a rebel who needs
the phrase “Reproductive Health Care,” letter (c) states medical assistance.
“proscription of abortion and management of abortion
complications.” Ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng “proscription of REP. BAGATSING. I agree with the Gentleman from Albay.
abortion”? Pakipaliwanag na lang po kung ano ang ibig sabihin Kapag ang sundalo ay nasugatan, gamutin natin siya. Kapag
ng “proscription.” tinamaan, maski nga hindi tinamaan, gamutin pa rin natin kung
kinakailangan. But this is abortion, Mr. Speaker.
REP. LAGMAN. Ang ibig sabihin ng “proscription of Ito nga, I want to be clarified dahil parang inconsistent
abortion” ay prohibition of abortion. itong “proscription of abortion and management of abortion
complications.” Hindi tugma eh. It should not be here in the
REP. BAGATSING. Okay, it is clear. first place. Kaya iyong fear ng marami, iyong agam-agam ng
marami na, eventually, this will lead to the legalization of
REP. LAGMAN. Sapagkat ang nakasulat ho riyan, abortion, is now being established. Why do we keep saying
nothing in this bill would change the law on abortion… “universal”? What do we care about the universe? This bill
is only applicable to the Philippines. Hindi naman ito
REP. BAGATSING. Okey iyan. rerespetuhin sa ibang bansa. In other words, although we are
a signatory to international declarations, ang batas na ito ay
REP. LAGMAN. … which makes abortion illegal and para dito lamang, Mr. Speaker. Ngayon ako ay naiilang doon
punishable. Palagay ko ang pag-uusapan natin ay ang sa “legal” at repeatedly, ang sinasabi ninyong “legal.” Ako
tinatawag na “management of abortion complications.” ay may apprehension, Mr. Speaker, and many have shared
that, na baka, probably, at the appropriate time, itong
At this juncture, Deputy Speaker Remulla relinquished “proscribe” ay mapalitan ng “prescribe”—prescription—at
the Chair to Rep. Rodolfo C. Fariñas. sabihing typographical error lang iyan. Baka iyong “o” ay
mapalitan ng “e,” maging “prescription of abortion and
REP. BAGATSING. Okay, let me just continue. So, the management of abortion complications.” Patay, eh di ligal na
Gentleman defines “proscription” as prohibition. Kung ligal na ito.
babasahin po natin ang letter “(c) proscription of abortion
and management of abortion complications” —liliwanagin REP. LAGMAN. Talagang masyadong …
ko, sa Tagalog, ang proscription of abortion ay bawal ang
abortion, pero dinugtong rito, in the same sentence, the phrase REP. BAGATSING. Kaya baka naman sa printing nito, sa
“and management of abortion complications.” Unang-una, final form, maiba. Mr. Speaker, pareho na tayong medyo pumuti
bawal na ang abortion kaya bakit dudugtungan pa ng pagma- ang buhok dito at pareho tayong nakakita ng “Fourth
manage ng abortion complications? Chamber,” kung saan sa printing ay kunyari, conveniently,
Bakit mo ima-manage iyong kumplikasyon eh bawal na nga nagkamali. Kaya mabuti naman at naliliwanag natin at naa-
ang abortion? It is redundant, Mr. Speaker. (Applause) Sinasabi address ninyo ito. Now, let me go back again, Mr. Speaker,…
mong bawal ang abortion, pagkatapos, may dugtong na “and
management of abortion complications.” Kung bawal, walang REP. LAGMAN. Let me first answer that apprehension
kumplikasyon dahil bawal. Eh dito, isang sentence iyong buo na na baka raw sa “proscription” ay mapalitan iyong “o” ng “e.”
ipinagbabawal mo, pero may kadugtong. So, please clarify this Hindi po mangyayari iyan sapagkat mayroon tayong record
issue, Mr. Speaker, kaya ako ninenerbiyos dito. of the proceedings here at mayroong record ho sa panukalang
batas na nakasaad iyan “proscription.” So, the Gentleman’s
REP. LAGMAN. That can easily be clarified. Alam nating apprehension is far-fetched. It is more imaginary than real.
lahat na maraming ipinagbabawal ang hindi nasusunod. Tungkol naman doon sa “proscription ng abortion and
Ipinagbabawal natin ang abortion ngunit ang data ay, sa management of abortion complications,” dalawa pong bagay
Pilipinas, mayroong 500,000 induced abortions kahit na iligal iyan. Iyong isa ay pre-abortion at talagang ipinagbabawal
ang abortion. Anong gagawin natin dito sa mga kababaihan iyon. That is penalized under our Revised Penal Code. Ngunit
who resort to abortion sapagkat napipilitan sila because of itong “management of abortion complications” ay post-
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 11

abortion, nangyari na ho iyan. So, we have to approach this REP. BAGATSING. Kasi hawak-hawak ko itong galing sa
in a humane way in order to, most probably, erase or at least Internet, kung saan sinabi na ito ay ginagamit sa mga disaster
minimize the trauma undergone by a distressed woman. areas, na tuwing may humanitarian crisis ay pinapayagan
nila ang magpalaglag dahil na-rape, halimbawa, sa
REP. BAGATSING. So, anyway, Mr. Speaker, the Sponsor Afghanistan. In other words, baka i-abuse ito. Baka ito ay i-
earlier compared it to a soldier who is wounded in battle. Para expand ng husto at sabihin noong babae o lalake, “Sige
bang sinasabi niya kanina, and let me reiterate, na papaano magpalaglag ka, gamitin mo iyong humanitarian crisis na
iyan kung, halimbawa, na-abort, kinakailangang tulungan ng dahilan.” O di kaya nagkaroon ng Ondoy, sasabihin nila,
estado sa post-abortion, hindi ba? In the first place, hindi “Teka muna, pasok ito, magpalaglag ka, justified na iyan.”
dapat mangyari iyon kasi iligal nga ang abortion. Kaya, These things are more real than imaginary because we are
matatakot din iyon, hindi ba? Kaya, hindi maalis iyong agam- saddled by disasters every year. Baka iyon na ang opportunity
agam namin na ito ay preparasyon dahil pinoproteksyonan na maging ligal ang abortion. Baka i-invoke ang Section 8 na
na iyong nagpa-abort. Eh, ang aking iniisip, dapat huwag ito at sasabihing, “Mayroong humanitarian crisis, mayroong
magpa-abort. disaster, ayan, puwede mo nang ilalaglag iyan.”

REP. LAGMAN. Alam naman ng Kinatawan na maraming REP. LAGMAN. Well, kung iyan ang apprehension ng
iligal, ipinagbabawal ito pero ganoon pa man, nagaganap pa ating magiting na Congressman from Manila, then at the
rin ito, kaya mayroong “pre” at mayroong “post.” proper time, during the period of amendments, he can make a
very categorical amendment na hindi kasama dito ang
REP. BAGATSING. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, para bang abortion.
nakikita ko na ng konti iyong half-slip. Para bang may ibang
agenda nga dito and so, please disabuse our minds. REP. BAGATSING. Very comforting ang statement na
Now, consistent with abortion, sa mga fears po namin, iyan, Mr. Speaker. Talagang matagal na tayong magkasama,
under Section 8, Mr. Speaker, “Maternal and Newborn Health Mr. Speaker.
Care in Crisis Situations”—medyo madugo po ito, Mr. Mayroon pa akong tanong sa mga provisions dito on
Speaker—it is stated: sex education. Bakit pinagpipilitan natin, Mr. Speaker, na
turuan ang mga estudyante sa Grade V hanggang high school
The LGUs and the DOH shall ensure that a ng sex education? Bakit binubuksan natin ang mata ng mga,
Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) for wika nga, musmos pa, na ang alam lang ay magpiko,
reproductive health, including maternal and neonatal magtumbang preso, magbahay-bahayan? Bakit binubuksan
health care kits and services as defined by the DOH, natin ang mata ng mga batang ito? Bakit hindi natin iwanan
will be given proper attention in crisis situations ito sa mga magulang? Kung ang magulang ang siyang
such as disasters and humanitarian crises. magtuturo sa mga batang ito, unang-una, maniniwala ang
bata. Kaya ang magulang ang turuan natin kung papaano
Para bang, Mr. Speaker, dito ay ni-ligal na ang abortion, nila tuturuan ang kanilang mga anak. (Applause)
na kapag may krisis—may disaster o humanitarian crisis—ay
puwede ng ipagamit itong mga MISP kit na, ayon sa aking At this juncture, the Presiding Officer relinquished the
pagsasaliksik, kung gagamitin ito sa mga lugar na mayroong, Chair to Deputy Speaker Jesus Crispin C. Remulla.
wika nga, krisis, eh nagkakaroon ng abortion dito. So, please
clarify this, Mr. Speaker, dahil hindi pa nangyayari ay Eh, kung ang titser o propesor ang magtuturo, baka may
inuunahan na ng bill na ito. malisya pa iyong titser o kaya iyong propesor. I find it strange
that my son or my daughter will be exposed to somebody
REP. LAGMAN. Wala pong pagbabago sa batas hinggil that has no, wika nga, warmth or concern or genuine love.
sa pagbabawal at pagpe-penalize ng abortion. Iyan po ang Mas maganda na ang nanay ang magtuturo sa babae, ang
overriding provision ng ating panukalang batas. Nothing in tatay ang magtuturo sa lalaki. Ngayon, kung hindi kaya ng
this law will change the law on abortion. Tingnan din po nanay at tatay, turuan natin sila, magpa-seminar tayo sa nanay
natin iyong elements of the RH Bill. Nandidiyan po iyong at tatay, na “ganito, mga tatay at mga nanay, ang ituturo
proscription of abortion—prevention and prohibition of ninyo sa inyong mga anak.” I am very sure that the children
abortion. Tingnan din po natin iyong curriculum sa mandatory will listen carefully and will follow dahil punong-puno ng
sexuality education, nandodoon din po sa curriculum ang pagmamahal ang mga advice galing sa kanilang mga magulang.
prevention and proscription of abortion—paulit-ulit nalang
po. Hindi ko lang maintindihan bakit paulit-ulit na rin na REP. LAGMAN. Sa ating mga tahanan, statistics would
binabasa ng mga anti-RH iyong mga probisyon na wala sa show that only 10 percent of parents discuss sexuality with
panukalang batas. their children. So, that is a default on the part of parents on
their obligation to teach their children about sex and because
REP. BAGATSING. Eh, baka nakatago nga, Mr. Speaker. of this default, there is a need for formal education. Sapagkat,
sa ngayon ho, saan ba nakukuha ng ating mga anak ang
REP. LAGMAN. Naku, wala hong nakatago diyan. impormasyon hinggil sa sex? Mula sa polluted sources, sa
peer groups, na hindi ho tama. Kaya kailangan isama natin
REP. BAGATSING. Baka nakatago nga. ito sa curriculum ng ating mga paaralan.
Ngayon, itong sexuality education naman ay “age-
REP. LAGMAN. No. appropriate.” Nandiyan po sa panukalang iyan: “age-
12 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

appropriate.” Ang ibig sabihin ho, kung Grade V pa lang ang REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, ini-invoke ninyo ang
isang estudyante ay hindi siya tuturuan ng itinuturo sa mga other countries, eh hindi ko ipagpapalit ang ating bansa. In
fourth year high school students. Nandiyan po ang other countries, pagdating ng 18 anyos, iyong bata ay
curriculum, nandiyan po ang mga subjects, at unang-una po pinalalayas ng magulang sa bahay. Dito, may asawa na nga
diyan ay iyong correct sexual values. Iyan po ang kailangan pero nasa bahay pa ng magulang nakatira eh, kinukupkop ng
ituro sa ating mga youth. magulang. So, it is a different culture; it is a different
Sa lahat pong mga pagsusuri sa mga progresibong bansa environment. If we will talk about statistics, hindi po tayo
na mayroong sexuality education, ang resulta po nito, may matatapos diyan dahil mayroon din kaming mga datos that
beneficent results ang sexuality education. Hindi po say otherwise.
mangyayari iyong sinasabi ng mga anti-RH that we are going Be that as it may, Mr. Speaker, let me go to another topic.
to breed sex maniacs out of our youth. Hindi ho totoo iyan. Bakit ba sa tingin ninyo ngayon eh passions are very high,
Ano po ang beneficent effects? Unang-una, nadi-delay emotions are very high, at marami sa atin sa simbahan ay
ang entry into sexual relations. Pangalawa, ito pong nagagalit sa RH Bill na ito? Sa pananaw ng ating author eh
pagkakaroon ng multiple sexual partners is discouraged and mayroon bang dahilan para sila ay magalit dito?
avoided. Pangatlo, napo-promote po ang abstinence before
marriage. Pang-apat, dahil po dito ay naiiwasan ang HIV/ REP. LAGMAN. Sapagkat ho, ang nangyayari ngayon,
AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases. Ito po ang nili-limit ang usapin sa condoms, pills, IUDs and injectables.
pag-aaral, ito po ang resulta ng empirical studies. Kaya Dinadala po iyong usapin sa sex and religion. Hindi po tama
salungat iyong apprehensions ng mga anti-RH Bill; ang iyan. Palagay ko ay kailangan palitan ang pananaw ng mga
resulta po dito ay beneficent to our youth. Kaya ito po ay anti-RH advocates.
ating ipino-promote ngunit mayroon po kaming amendment This bill is not about sex and religion. It is about rights—
na kung ayaw ng magulang na pahintulutan ang kanyang the right of parents to freely and responsibly determine the
minor child to attend sexuality and reproductive health number and the spacing of their children. Ito po ay tungkol
classes, karapatan ng magulang iyon. Hindi namin iyon sa kalusugan, the health of mothers and infants, in order that
ipinagkakait sa magulang. They can opt out and that is one it will not happen in the Philippines that 11 mothers die daily
of the voluntary amendments we have suggested to the from complications in childbirth and pregnancy. Ito po ay
Committee on Population and Family Relations. tungkol sa tuloy-tuloy na kaunlaran ng ating bansa.

REP. BAGATSING. Anyway, Mr. Speaker, medyo mahaba- REP. BAGATSING. In other words, Mr. Speaker...
haba pa ito. Sa aking pananaw, iyang sex education sa America,
malawak, kaya kita naman natin ang daming teenage REP. LAGMAN. Hindi po ito iyong sinasabi ng simbahan
pregnancies dahil sinasabi ng mga bata doon, “Wala naman na ito ay tungkol sa sex, tungkol sa relihiyon, tungkol lamang
iyan eh. Kapag ginamit mo iyong condom, wala namang skin sa contraceptives. Hindi po tama iyan. Kailangang palitan po
to skin contact iyan, para ka lang nagsaya diyan.” Kaya ayun, natin ang pananaw na iyan.
inaabot ng pagkabuntis dahil hindi naman fool-proof ang
condom na iyan. In other words, nagiging cheap ang sex. So, REP. BAGATSING. Kaya naniniwala kayo, Mr. Speaker,
if that is the intention, hindi kami sang-ayon diyan. Kaya na nakikialam ang simbahan sa panukalang batas na ito.Iyan
mabuti pa na ang magulang ang turuan natin, i-guide natin, at ang paniwala ninyo.
nang maniwala ang bata dahil magulang niya ang nagtuturo
sa kanya. REP. LAGMAN. Well, walang problema kung makialam
Now, Mr. Speaker, let me go to another topic. ang simbahan sa diskusyon. Ang problema ay gusto ng
simbahan i-impose ang kanyang dogma sa legislation.
REP. LAGMAN. Well, let me just make a rejoinder there. Catholic dogma cannot be legislated.
Ngayon na wala pong sexuality education na inuutos, kaparis
ng inuutos dito sa ating panukalang batas, ano po ang RH REP. BAGATSING. But …
realities in the Philippines? Eighty percent of young women
do not know their fertile period. Adolescent pregnancies make REP. LAGMAN. Iyan po ay talagang bawal sa secular
up 30 percent of all annual births. Half of our youth are state. The best statement here is from President Kennedy
unaware that they could get pregnant after only one when he said, “I am President who happens to be a Catholic
intercourse. Almost 30 percent of the youth think that AIDS but I am not a Catholic President.” Ang gusto pong sabihin,
is curable. Tingnan ninyo ho ito, these are really aberrations. hindi puwedeng i-enforce ang dogma ng simbahan through
The mean age for sexual activity for males and females are 17 legislation. Iyan po ay usapin ng simbahan, ng obispo at
and 18, respectively. Sixteen percent of our youth had sex ng mga Katoliko, pero hindi puwedeng i-enforce iyan sa
before age 15, from less than two percent in 1994. Ito po ay buong bansa kung saan hindi lang po mga Katoliko ang
lahat maiiwasan, these adverse statistics, if we have nandidito.
mandatory sexuality education sapagkat beneficent results
po ang na-document in progressive countries where sexuality REP. BAGATSING. Again, Mr. Speaker, si Kennedy na
education is taught to the young. Doon po sa ibang bansa, naman ang sinabi. Sinabi ni Kennedy na Katoliko siya pero
ay nagsisimula ito at a lower age, pero tayo, we are a sa Amerika, minority ang mga Katoliko. Sa Amerika, very minor
conservative society , that is why we have proposed to have ang Katoliko, wala pa yatang 10 o 15 porsyento. So, the
that starting Grade V when the bodily changes in a girl start parallelism again is not applicable to the Philippines, I am
to be very apparent. sorry. In other words …
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 13

REP. LAGMAN. I am really sorry, the Gentleman missed hindi naiiba ang batas ng simbahan. Ang batas ng tao,
the point. depende sa Presidente, ay naiiba, nare-repeal, na-a-amend.
Ang batas ng Diyos, nunca napapalitan. With that, my
REP. BAGATSING. No, … colleague, I think this is a transgression, a direct attack on
the teachings of our church.
REP. LAGMAN. I could have said …
REP. LAGMAN. Unang-una, hindi natin pinag-uusapan
REP. BAGATSING. … but let me pursue. kung how old is the Church or how old is the State. Hindi po
iyan nakukuha sa age or antiquity. Ang uwak po ay matagal
REP. LAGMAN. I am a Congressman who is Catholic, na rito sa mundo pero until now, it has not learned to speak.
but I am not a Catholic Congressman. (Applause) So, age is not an indication of wisdom or truth.
Ngayon, sino ang nagta-transgress? Ang estado ay
REP. BAGATSING. Well, in this particular case, let me walang pakialam sa dogma ng simbahan. Bahala ang mga
qualify. obispo na ikampanya ang gusto nila sa mga Katoliko. Ang
estado ay gumagawa ng batas for the good of the greatest
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The audience number under the exercise of police power. Hindi po nakikialam
is reminded that they are not allowed to react with applause ang estado sa simbahan kaya hindi po puwedeng sabihin
or other means of approval or disapproval in the ongoing that the State is transgressing on the dogma of the Church.
debate. Isa pa po, ano ba ang dogma? Mayroon po kami ritong
Thank you. nakita—“Levels of Teachings in the Roman Catholic Church”
by Bishop Raymond A. Lucker, The American Catholic. Ito
REP. BAGATSING. Naglaro na naman tayo ng semantics. pong opinyon ng simbahan tungkol sa contraceptives ay
I am not a Catholic, but I am a Catholic Congressman. Ako ay categorized as “Authoritative but non-irreformable.” Dito po
Katoliko through and through. As stated earlier, ang sabi ng sa category ng teachings of the church, iyan po ay no. 3
Kinatawan ay nakikialam ang simbahan, pinipilit ang dogma lamang. Ang una po ay “Divinely revealed truth; ang
nila sa estado. Is that correct, Mr. Speaker? pangalawa, “Definitive Non-Revealed Truths.” Kahit na po
itong tinatawag na Humanae Vitae ay hindi po ito infallible.
REP. LAGMAN. Iyon ho ang nangyayari. Immediately after the release in 1968 of this encyclical which
was based on a Minority Report —let me repeat that, Minority
REP. BAGATSING. Well, nire-rephrase ko lang ang Report—of the Papal Birth Control Commission and contrary
kanyang sinabi na ini-impose ng simbahan ang dogma nila sa to the majority position permissive of contraceptive use, Msgr.
estado. Fernando Lambruschini, then official spokesman of the
Vatican, announced:
REP. LAGMAN. Iyan po ang agenda ng simbahan, …
Attentive reading of the encyclical Humanae
REP. BAGATSING. Well, Mr. Speaker. Vitae does not suggest the theological note of
infallibility. It is not infallible.
REP. LAGMAN. … na mali hong agenda because we
cannot enforce Catholic dogma through legislation. This is the announcement of the Papacy, through its
spokesman, at the time Humanae Vitae was released. Let me
REP. BAGATSING. Pero ating sariwaing mabuti, let us reiterate, it was based on the minority position. Minority lang
put it in the proper context. Ang sabi niya kaya masama ang po iyon. The majority was permissive of contraceptive use
loob ng simbahang Katoliko ay dahil pinakikialaman ng estado and we have still a living member in the Philippines of that
ang dogma ng simbahan or vice versa, nakikialam ang Papal Birth Control Commission who could testify on this
simbahan sa trabaho ng estado o ng lehislatura. Ngayon, Mr. aberration committed by the papacy.
Speaker, matanong ko lamang: gaano katanda na ba ang ating
Republika? When was this Republic founded? It was founded REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, ang dami po ninyong
in 1898 by General Emilio Aguinaldo. That was the First kino-quote pero isa lang ang naintindihan ko. Ang sabi ng
Republic. In other words, ang ating bansa ay 113 taon pa Diyos, “Humayo kayo at magparami.”
lamang. Ngayon, gaano katanda na ang batas ng Katoliko, “Go forth and multiply.” Hindi naman sinabi, “When an
na batas ng Diyos? RH Bill is passed in Congress or proposed in Congress, you
Dalawang libong taon na ang Katolisismo sa buong consider it.” I cannot be wiser and greater than the Creator.
bansa. Ngayon, sino ang nakikialam? Ang estado, 113 years Hindi naman ako ganoon katalino kaysa sa lumikha sa akin.
old lang. The Church is 2,000 years old. Christianity is 3,400 Ang sabi, “Go forth and multiply.” Hindi naman pupuwedeng
years old. Now, tell me, who is transgressing on whom? Sino i-interpret ko pa iyan ng higit pa sa aking Diyos.
ang nakikialam? Iniiba natin ang dogma ng simbahang So, Mr. Speaker, napakasimple: 2,000 years old na ang
Katolika sa pamamagitan ng lehislasyon. We are legislating teachings ng Katoliko, hindi naiiba, hindi na-a-amendahan.
the beliefs, the teachings of the Church kaya sila kumo kontra Ang batas ng tao, depende kung sino ang nakaupo riyan as
rito. Now, sino ngayon ang nakikialam? Under the principle Speaker, depende kung sino ang Presidente, depende kung
of the separation of Church and State, who is interfering? Is sino ang mga Miyembro ng Lehislatura na mag-a-amenda at
the State interfering with the Church? Yes, because the State magre-repeal. Ngayon, pinakikialaman natin by way of
is only 113 years old while the Church is 2,000 years old at legislation. Sinasabi natin na ito ay hindi pupuwede. Umaangal
14 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

ang simbahang Katoliko. Kung iyan ba naman ay hindi REP. LAGMAN. That is well-accepted, distinguished
salungat sa kanilang paniniwala ay bakit sila aangal? The Gentleman.
mere fact that they are really very passionate about this— So, the world has to adjust. The United Nations predicted
this is a direct affront to 85 percent of the Filipinos who are that there will be 8 billion people in this world by October this
Catholics, to the extent that this bill is in effect marginalizing year. That is a tremendous number. That is a multitude, and I
the Catholics in this country. This is pure legislation on the do not think that injunction conceived of a situation like the
dogma of the Catholic Church. present.
Let me just restate, Mr. Speaker, in the Declaration of Did the distinguished Gentleman say that the Catholic
Policy, Section 2 states “…consistent with their religious Church is being marginalized? To a certain extent, it is because
convictions, cultural beliefs .…” In the Constitution, all other religions and denominations are in favor of the RH
nakalagay dito, “The separation of Church and State shall be bill. It is only the Catholic hierarchy which is against the bill.
inviolable.” Under the Bill of Rights, Section 5 states: So, in that equation, the Catholic Church is marginalized.
Now, again, we go back to the central agenda of this
No law shall be made respecting an bill—it is freedom of informed choice. Nobody is being
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free compelled or enticed by reward to adopt a particular method
exercise thereof. The free exercise and enjoyment of of family planning or to embrace contraceptive use. It is the
religious profession and worship, without call, it is the option of parents and women. So, what is wrong
discrimination or preference, shall forever be with having an informed choice? It is freedom of choice—no
allowed. compulsion, no reward. So, there is no violation of the
Constitution because in the first place, the Constitution says
Under Section 3 on the Family, it states, “The State shall “… shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of
defend: (1) the right of spouses to found a family in accordance the unborn from conception.” So, there should be the onset
with their religious convictions...” So, maski ang Saligang of conception in order to protect the unborn. In the case of
Batas natin ay kinikilala ito, Mr. Speaker. contraceptives, these preempt conception. There is no
I know that my colleague knows where I am coming from pregnancy to speak of because the main purpose is to prevent
and probably, if the intention is to protect maternal health fertilization or to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. It
and infant health, then let us work on that but let us no longer does not prescribe that no one should have any child. It says
pass this bill. Let us go to the Department of Health, let us go here that there should be the freedom of parents, particularly
to the DILG, let us pump more funds there, let us put more women, to determine responsibly the number and spacing of
nurses, let us build more health centers, let us hire more their children. That is their goal; that is the exercise of their
barangay health workers, let us have a massive information right to reproductive health.
campaign, but let us respect also what is stated in the
Constitution. It is the State that is intruding on and assaulting REP. BAGATSING. Is the Gentleman now through, Mr.
the teachings of the Church which are protected by no less Speaker?
than our Constitution.
REP. LAGMAN. Apparently, yes, Mr. Speaker.
REP. LAGMAN. Well, let me go back to that biblical
injunction quoted by the distinguished Gentleman from REP. BAGATSING. Mr. Speaker, as stated earlier, he said
Manila. He said that the injunction was, “Go forth and that age is not a factor. How can it be not a factor when it is
multiply.” He did not finish the quotation. It said, “Go forth 2000 years old and the other one is only 113 years old? Nakita
and multiply and subdue the earth. “ In other words, at that naman natin na iyong 2000 years old hindi naiba, pero iyong
time that this injunction was made, how many people were 113 years old, ang daming naiiba. For all we know, ang
there? panukalang batas na ito—kung saka-sakali, huwag naman
mangyari—ito ay ma-a-amendahan naman ng susunod na
REP. BAGATSING. So the Gentleman is questioning Presidente, ng susunod na Speaker, ng susunod na
the wisdom of the Creator, of the Lord. So, hindi ko na Congressmen, pero ang batas ng Diyos ay hindi po na-a-
kinukwestyon iyon, Mr. Speaker. amendahan.
So, Mr. Speaker, marami pa sana akong itatanong pero
REP. LAGMAN. No, I am just interpreting this statement... dahil sa passion ng ating diskusyon ay nabali ang aking
ngipin, so I would try to proceed. In the proposed bill, Mr.
REP. BAGATSING. That is why he is interpreting it... Speaker, madami ritong nabanggit about the involvement of
local government units, the hiring of midwives and putting
REP. LAGMAN. The problem really is, I allow my good up ng parang mga family planning offices and then family
colleague to speak... planning supplies as essential medicines. Dito lang sa Section
10, Mr. Speaker, sinabi rito:
REP. BAGATSING. Please proceed.
Products and supplies for modern family
REP. LAGMAN. ... and I allow him to ask some questions. planning methods shall be part of the National Drug
But in my case, he interrupts me when I am answering. Formulary and the same shall be included in the
regular purchase of essential medicines and
REP. BAGATSING. Okay. Please accept my apologies, supplies of all national and local hospitals and other
Mr. Speaker. government health units.
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 15

Alam ba ninyo, Mr. Speaker, kung gaanong kalaking pera para sa mobile health care program dito sa bawat distrito. So,
ito? This will involve billions of pesos. Eh, libre na nga in other words, talagang appetizer lang itong P3 billion na ito,
nakukuha ito. Bakit gusto nating bumili ng bumili ng mga tip of the iceberg.
gamot na ito, eh nagbibigay na nga ng libre iyong mga NGO Now, the Gentleman said something about being cost-
at ibang bansa? Why do we have to appropriate billions of efficient. It is a common knowledge that when you use the
pesos for this, Mr. Speaker? Mayroon bang kikita rito? pill or any other contraceptive, ikaw ay puwedeng magkaroon
ng cancer, like cancer of the breast. Narinig ko nga iyan mula
REP. LAGMAN. Babalikan ko muna iyong tungkol sa kay Congressman Golez doon sa harapan nila ni former
edad ng simbahan at iyong edad ng estado, sapagkat binalikan Secretary Cabral, at inamin naman ni former Secretary Cabral.
ng ating magiting na Congressman from Manila. Gusto ko Alam mo na puwedeng magka cancer, bakit bibigyan pa natin
lang sabihin dito na ang encyclical Humanae Vitae was iyong mga tao ng contraceptives? Sinong magpapagamot sa
adopted in 1968. kanila kung sila ay nagkasakit? Wala namang nakalagay dito
Ngunit, iyong independent Philippine government was sa panukalang batas na gagamutin natin sila, even the unborn.
established in 1898. Kaya kung tutuusin natin, in the I cannot see any provision here that speaks of the unborn. In
chronology of events, eh itong ating gobyerno ay mas other words, Mr. Speaker, madaling sabihin iyong maternal
matanda doon sa Humanae Vitae. Hindi natin health care but on the other side of it, kapag pinayagan natin
pagdedebatehan iyan sapagkat, nasabi nga ng Kinatawan, iyong contraceptives na may mga side effects, mga ill effects,
hindi naman ito tungkol sa age, hindi naman ito tungkol sa kawawa naman ang mga kababaihan na gagamit nito.
chronology, sapagkat nga iyong uwak ay nandito since time Natanggal ang kanilang breast pero wala naman silang
immemorial but until now it has not learned to speak. ovarian cancer. Aba, mamimimili ka ngayon kung ano ang
Now, bakit kailangan na pondohan itong Reproductive gusto mo, ovarian cancer o breast cancer. Ganoon ba iyon?
Health Bill? So, Mr Speaker, the ills of contraceptives are not new.
Unang-una, gusto kong ipaliwanag na iyong United Contraceptives have not really brought good health to a lot
Nations mismo, iyong WHO, has included contraceptives in of people or people who used them. There are many
the drug formulary. Dito naman sa atin sa Pilipinas, ang lahat testimonials that, up to now, women who used these continue
naman na contraceptives na available in the market have been to suffer from side effects. Most of all, itong funding nga,
registered with the Food and Drug Adminstration to make ang daming pera nito, Mr. Speaker. Iyong bang mobile health
them legal and licensed. Ngayon, bakit kailangang pondohan? care, saan natin kukunan ang pera para dito? The planning
Unang-una, itong ating pondo for family planning and programs, the procurement and distribution of family planning
reproductive health is very cost-effective. Hindi ito kaparis supplies aside from the essential medicines—all these will
ng ilang mega-projects of the government where the involve a lot of money. Saan natin kukunin ito, Mr. Speaker?
beneficiaries are few. Ang sabi nga ng UNICEF, “Family
planning will bring more benefits to more people at less cost REP. LAGMAN. Unang-una ho, gustong kong
than any human technology now known to mankind.” That ipaliwanag—kasi ang dami niyang isinasama sa isang tanong
was way back in 1992. kaya kailangan sagutin lahat.
Ito namang family planning, including contraceptive use,
will generate multi-billion savings for the government in terms REP. BAGATSING. Kaya kailangang sagutin lahat ng
of reduced expenses for maternal and infant medical care, Kinatawan.
which could be channelled to education and other basic
services. Research by the Likhaan and Guttmacher Institute REP. LAGMAN. Sasagutin natin lahat.
shows that the government allocates a minimum of P5.5 billion
annually in health care cost for the management of unintended REP. BAGATSING. Ipinagsasama-sama ko nalang.
pregnancies and their complications. This is not cost effective
because the government would only need P2 billion to P3.5 REP. LAGMAN. Sasagutin natin lahat. Iyong tunggol
billion annually to fund a comprehensive range of voluntary naman sa risk sa contraceptives, eh lahat naman ho na we
family planning services for the entire country, according to take internally ay mayroong risk. Kahit sa pagkain, mayroong
the same study. The P3-billion allocation for family planning risk.
and reproductive health is not solely for the purchase and
acquisition and distribution of contraceptives. It would be REP. BAGATSING. No, sa pagkain, wala, Mr. Speaker.
used also for a massive information campaign because the
central idea here is informed choice and there can be no REP. LAGMAN. Sa gamot, mayroong risk. So we have to
informed choice if there is no relevant information given to weigh the risks versus the benefits. It has been documented
parents and women. Ito pa, isa pa ho, ito naman ay hindi lang that the benefits of contraception are far more than the risks
tungkol sa purchase of contraceptives. Marami pang elements involved. Iyon sinabi naman ni Secretary Cabral, sa palagay
itong reproductive health na kailangang pondohan at ang ko, was taken out of context at hindi tinapos. Ang sabi niya
pondo, manggagaling dito sa small amount of P3 billion, pales lang ay mayroong mga reports na itong contraceptives can
in comparison with the budgets of other mega-projects of the be a contributory factor to breast cancer, but she also said in
government. the same vein that there are also reports that contraceptives
can be curative for other forms of cancer. Kaya walang
REP. BAGATSING. Well, the P3 billion is the initial budget, categorical statement ho, sinasabi niya lang iyong mga reports.
but the way this proposed bill is crafted, ito ay limpak na Kaya importante na ilagay natin sa proper perspective ang
limpak na bilyong pera. Mayroon pang procurement ng gamot kino-quote natin na mga statements. Sa karamihan ng mga
16 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

tanong ho ng ating magiting na Congressman, di ko na lahat like to pursue the interpellation, sabi ko nga, may nakaka-
maalala. Pakiulit nalang ho kung ano po iyong gusto niyang distract sa akin, Mr. Speaker, and so I will end my interpellation
sagutin ko doon sa last question niya. and yield the floor to the next one who will interpellate. In the
meanwhile, I would like to thank the Gentleman from Albay
REP. BAGATSING. Ang sabi ko, Mr. Speaker, for sharing his time with this Representation.
napakaraming perang igugugol para dito. Saan natin kukunin Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you, Gentleman from
ang perang iyan? Bakit pinipilit natin na, wika nga, ilagay Albay.
itong pera sa artificial family planning methods, iyong mga
condoms, tapos bibili pa ng mobile vans? Hindi naman REP. LAGMAN. I also thank the Gentleman, Mr. Speaker.
nakalagay dito kung saan ang appropriations para diyan. So
eventually, sabi nga ni Senator Sotto, ang mangyayari ay ang At this juncture, Deputy Speaker Remulla relinquished
daming pondong ipinasok pero saan napunta? Mukhang the Chair to Rep. Janette L. Garin.
nagkaroon lamang ng kurakutan o corruption, Mr. Speaker.
That is up to the Sponsor to answer, Mr. Speaker, but really, THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Garin, J.). The Floor
my central argument is that we should stop legislating on the Leader is recognized.
dogmas of the Church. We should not interfere. The State
should not interfere as the separation of the Church and the REP. ORTEGA (F.). Mme. Speaker, may we now recognize
State is defined in the Constitution. In effect, we are the Hon. Pablo P. Garcia for his interpellation.
interfering, Mr. Speaker, and that is why the Catholics are
really up in arms and they are even willing to go to jail. We do THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Garin, J.). The
not want our people to be divided. We do not want this to be distinguished Deputy Speaker, the Hon. Pabling P. Garcia, is
a reason for our people to be divided. There are better things hereby recognized for his interpellation.
to do. Obviously, the Constitution protects the freedom of
religion. So, I think at the appropriate time, Mr. Speaker, I will SUSPENSION OF SESSION
give the distinction to the proponents to just move that this
bill be archived and we should eventually pass another bill REP. LAGMAN. Mme. Speaker, may we request for a
on more information—more on health centers, more on nurses five-minute recess.
to take care of those in the provinces or in the far-flung areas.
So, I hope this will be shared by our proponent, that truly, THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Rep. Garin, J.).The session
this is so divisive because there is really a transgression on is suspended for five minutes.
the freedom of religion, of choice, of beliefs, especially since
85 percent are Catholics. Does he not think so, Mr. Speaker? It was 6:14 p.m.

REP. LAGMAN. Well, marami na naman tayong RESUMPTION OF SESSION


kailangang sagutin. Unang-una, tungkol sa budget. Ang sabi
namin, ang estimated budget ay P3 billion at ito ay hindi At 6:23 p.m., the session was resumed with Deputy
masyadong malaking halaga compared to the more than one Speaker Jesus Crispin C. Remulla presiding.
trillion pesos we appropriate annually. This is just a drop in
the bucket. Tungkol naman doon sa statement ni Senator THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The session is
Sotto, palagay ko ay hindi niya natingnan mabuti ang mga resumed.
dokumento sapagkat sinagot na iyan ni Secretary Ona, na The Chair recognizes the Hon. Edcel C. Lagman to
iyong mga pondo ay ni-release na sa LGUs at ang problema continue the sponsorship of the measure, and the Hon. Pablo
lamang ay iyong subsequent releases ay hindi magawa P. Garcia from Cebu for his interpellation.
sapagkat some of the LGUs have not liquidated the amounts
they have received. REP. GARCIA (P.). Mr. Speaker, will the distinguished
Kung titingnan natin ang mga surveys na halos dalawang Sponsor yield to a few hundred questions?
dekada na, the Catholics have spoken. Lahat ng survey ng
SWS at ng Pulse Asia documents that an overwhelming REP. LAGMAN. Willingly, Mr. Speaker.
majority of the public are in favor of the enactment of this bill
and they are in favor of using public funds for family planning REP. GARCIA (P.). Thank you.
and contraceptive use, including funding sexuality and
reproductive health education. Iyan po ang survey results. REP. LAGMAN. I am used to the lengthy interpellations
The Catholics have spoken. As a matter of fact, it has been of the distinguished Gentleman from Cebu during our debates
documented that there are more Catholics than non-Catholics with respect to the abolition of the death penalty, and with
who favor the enactment of this bill. respect to the institution of the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Law and its amendment.
REP. BAGATSING. Well, Mr. Speaker, that is the
impression of the Sponsor. As stated earlier, there are other REP. GARCIA (P.). I thank the distinguished Sponsor for
religious groups which are not supporting this RH Bill. To my knowing me quite well, but before the interpellation, I have a
knowledge, a substantial number of Muslims are also not very brief statement. The various RH bills that were filed with
supporting this RH Bill. There are other groups. So, that is the House by the four previous Congresses, meaning, the
highly debatable, but be that as it may, as much as I would Eleventh, Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Congresses,
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 17

never failed to see the light of day in spite of the valiant At this moment, I am reminded of St. Thomas More who
efforts of the Sponsors and the elaborate and well-funded was the chief legal counsel, we might say, of the King of
support in media and elsewhere by various lobby groups, England. The King of England, Henry VIII, wanted to divorce
domestic and foreign. Nonetheless, Mr. Speaker, these bills his wife but Thomas More did not agree. He did not want to
created a lot of noise in media and generated vigorous legalize the divorce because that is against the dogma of God
controversy amongst our people nationwide. So, as we start and so, he was sentenced to death. When he was asked,
plenary debates on this new and refurbished RH Bill, we are “Why did you not obey the king?” St. Thomas More
like a city built on a hill. The eyes of the entire nation are answered, “Yes, I am the king’s loyal servant, but God’s first.”
upon us, watching us and wanting to see if this House of the We may be Congressmen of the Republic, but we are
Fifteenth Congress will prove to be an exception to the God’s servants first, because if you are Catholic, you are a
tradition of “No to the RH Bill.” Catholic wherever you may happen to be. You cannot be a
Now, on the interpellation, I would like to begin with Catholic outside and be something else inside.
propositions, principles and ideas we can agree on. First Now, may I proceed. Since, at least, the distinguished
proposition, the Philippines is a nation under God. It is a Sponsor says that he is a Congressman who happens to be a
nation that believes and trusts in God, in His omnipotence, in Catholic, and we are now in Congress, does the Gentleman
His infallible wisdom and in His infinite goodness. That is agree that God is the source, the creator of all life in the
why our Constitution starts with an Invocation, “To Almighty universe?
God.” Then, every public official of the land, from the President
down to the last barangay councilor, before he begins to REP. LAGMAN. Let me first say that the distinguished
discharge the functions and duties of his office, have to take Gentleman has no authority to admonish me on some
an oath; and at the end of which oath is a supplication, “So prejudices because he prefaced his interpellation with a
help me God.” This House also, everytime it opens its session, manifest and patent prejudice. Now, when we talk of God, we
it begins with a prayer, “To Almighty God.” do not talk solely of the God of the Catholics. This country
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I assume that the distinguished has other religions which have their own adherents and they
Sponsor believes in God. Is my assumption correct? may have their own gods. The God of one may not be
necessarily the God of the distinguished Gentleman from
REP. LAGMAN. Let me first say something about the Cebu. I am not here to hear a sermon or a pontification on
prefatory statements of the distinguished Gentleman. religious values. I am here to debate on the merits of the
While it is true that the RH Bill has a long gestation, we are Reproductive Health Bill.
certain that, like all gestations, it will come to end; and we are
certain that the RH Bill gestation will end in its approval within REP. GARCIA (P.). Does the Gentleman want to make us
the year. Let me also underscore that despite the previous bills believe that there are other gods than the Almighty God?
filed before this august Body, there has been no vote taken There is only God—maybe by other names. Our Muslim
and so, it could not be said that the RH Bill was voted out. brothers and sisters called their God “Allah” but there is only
Talking about gestation periods, it should be recalled that the one God. Does the Gentleman insist that there are other gods
bill on the abolition of the death penalty, which was opposed than what the Catholics believe to be their God?
by the distinguished Gentleman and of which I was the principal
author, took two decades and in the end, the death penalty has REP. LAGMAN. As I said, I do not want to make a
been abolished from our statute books. discourse or a debate on God and godliness. I am here to
Now, to answer the question of the distinguished cross swords with the distinguished Gentleman on the salient
Gentleman: yes, I believe in God. As a matter of fact, I am a features and merits of the Reproductive Health Bill. If he wants
Catholic. During my elementary and high school years, I was to discourse on religion, then, I will take my seat and hear
an acolyte to my uncle who was a parish priest in several him, but I will not make any rejoinder anymore with respect to
towns in Albay as well as in Catanduanes. At that time, the religious statements.
mass was conducted in Latin and so, when I answered the
priest, I was parroting Latin words which I did not REP. GARCIA (P.). But, Mr. Speaker, distinguished
understand. I also believe that this nation is under God. But Sponsor, this is a bill which cannot be dissociated from God.
this nation is not under the bishops or their lay subalterns. That is precisely the reason the Catholic bishops, the
Sponsor’s pet peeves, are very passionate in their opposition
REP. GARCIA (P.). Well, I would like to request the against this bill because this bill offends God.
distinguished Sponsor that we lay aside, in the course of this
debate, our prejudice or animosity against certain groups REP. LAGMAN. Well, Mr. Speaker...
especially the bishops. I heard the distinguished Gentleman
say that he is a Catholic—he is a Congressman who happens REP. GARCIA (P.). May I finish? The constitutional
to be a Catholic, and not a Catholic who happens to be a implications of this bill also have a connection or relation to
Congressman. Being a Catholic is not a happening. one of our constitutional rights—the freedom of religion. So,
the distinguished Sponsor should not begrudge me for asking
REP. LAGMAN. I am not a Catholic Congressman. This questions about God. Just a simple question: does the
is the correct statement. distinguished Sponsor believe that God is the source and
creator of life in the universe? This bill is about life.
REP. GARCIA (P.). If he is a Catholic, then he is a Catholic
Congressman. REP. LAGMAN. Can I respond?
18 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

REP. GARCIA (P.). Unless the distinguished Sponsor be honored to inform him about the prevailing doctrine on
would not want to answer questions that will be prejudicial the relationship between State and religion.
to the interests of the Sponsors of the bill.
REP. LAGMAN. I have here a list of Supreme Court
REP. LAGMAN. Can I now respond, Mr. Speaker? decisions with respect to the High Court’s interpretation of
the freedom of religion, and I could read for the record some
REP. GARCIA (P.). Of course. of these decisions. Discussing further the freedom to act on
one’s belief, the Supreme Court held, in the case and request
REP. LAGMAN. This bill is not about God. This bill is not of Muslim employees in different courts in Iligan City,
about religion. It is not even about sex. This bill is about rights— regarding office hours, that:
the rights of parents, particularly of women, who bear the brunt
of pregnancy, childbirth and child care, to fully and responsibly Where the individual externalizes his beliefs in acts
determine the number and spacing of their children. or omissions that affect the public, his freedom to do so
This bill is about the health of mothers, infants and becomes subject to the authority of the State. As great
children. More particularly, it is consistent with our as this liberty may be, religious freedom, like all other
commitment to the United Nations Millennium Development rights guaranteed in the Constitution can be enjoyed
Goals on the reduction of maternal mortality and the reduction only with a proper regard for the rights of others.
of infant mortality and morbidity. Today, 11 mothers die in the
Philippines daily because of complications from pregnancy Let me underscore then:
and childbirth.
This bill is about sustainable development and the As great as this liberty may be, religious freedom,
irrefutable linkage between population, development and like all other rights guaranteed in the Constitution,
poverty. If the questions of the distinguished Gentleman are can be enjoyed only with a proper regard for the rights
relevant to these aspects of the Reproductive Health Bill, of others. It is error to think that the mere invocation
then willingly, I will answer his questions. But if the questions of religious freedom will stalemate the State and render
are about God and religion, then I would defer from answering it impotent in protecting the general welfare.
said questions. The inherent police power can be exercised to
prevent religious practices inimical to society. And
REP. GARCIA (P.). Mr. Speaker, I am surprised that the this is true even if such practices are pursued out of
Sponsor said that this bill is about rights. Does he not believe sincere religious conviction and not merely for the
that all human rights come from God? They say that this bill purpose of evading the reasonable requirements or
is about health. Does not the distinguished Sponsor believe prohibitions of the law.
that the health of a person also comes from God? That is why
when we are sick, we pray to God to make us well. Justice Frankfurter put it succinctly:
I am waiting for the answer.
The constitutional provision on religious
REP. LAGMAN. Mr. Speaker, we are a secular state and freedom terminated disabilities. It did not create new
we have the separation of Church and State. We recognize privileges. It gave religious liberty, not civil immunity.
religious freedom, but religious freedom, under a litany of Its essence is freedom from conformity to religious
decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as the United States dogma, not freedom from conformity to law because
Supreme Court, has two aspects: the freedom to believe, which of religious dogma.
is absolute, and the freedom to act, which can be regulated
by the State. So, I would suggest that the distinguished I think this is very apt in this discussion if we talk not of
Gentleman should go direct to the point and ask his questions religion but of religious freedom. Let me again go back to the
without meandering on religious or dogmatic propositions. I statement of Justice Frankfurter:
am ready to answer direct questions.
The constitutional provision on religious
REP. GARCIA (P.). I am surprised, distinguished Sponsor, freedom terminated disabilities. It did not create new
why the distinguished Sponsor would now say that this bill privileges. It gave religious liberty, not civil immunity.
has nothing to do with religion. The principal objection of Its essence is freedom from conformity to religious
the Catholic Church and even those who are not Catholic is dogma, not freedom from conformity to law because
that this bill is unconstitutional; it violates the constitutional of religious doctrine.
right to the free exercise of religion. The relationship between
the State and the people cannot be dissociated from So, this is underscoring the supremacy of the law over
discussion on this bill. religious doctrine. I can quote for the record several other
Then, the distinguished Sponsor mentioned decisions decisions of the Supreme Court on this respect, and if the
of the Supreme Court on the free exercise of religion in the distinguished Gentleman would allow me to do so, then I would.
Constitution. Does the distinguished Sponsor know about
the prevailing doctrine on the Church-State relationship? In REP. GARCIA (P.). It is the Sponsor’s time.
this jurisdiction, the latest case decided by the Supreme Court
on the relationship between religion and the State—because REP. LAGMAN. Therefore, according to Estrada vs.
if the distinguished Sponsor is not aware of this case, I will Escritor, the State, if the government is advancing valid and
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 19

legitimate interests for the benefit of the public or for the under the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights provides: “No
protection of society, freedom of religion, cannot be used to person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
oppose the government act. due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal
Let me just say that there is no law prohibiting the protection of the laws.” Freedom of choice. You are free to
government from using public funds to purchase buy the kind of food you want to eat. Do we need a law in
contraceptives. Contraceptives are not banned and are not order to allow you to exercise your freedom? You are free to
unlawful items. Likewise, the purchase of such items by the choose the kind of house you are going to build. Do we need
government cannot be considered as unnecessary a law to allow you to build the kind of house that you want to
expenditures for such items can be effective tools to protect build? So, this is unnecessary. This bill is even in violation of
the public’s health and safety. Therefore, the exercise of the freedom of choice. Why? Once freedom can be prevented,
discretion by the government to purchase contraceptives it can be defeated either by force, intimidation or by
with public funds is legal, legitimate and valid. temptation. Here, as the Gentleman has stated repeatedly, the
users of contraceptives are mostly Catholics. There is no law
REP. GARCIA (P.). The Gentleman is through? that will prevent them from buying contraceptives. But the
evil of this law is that the freedom of choice of the women,
REP. LAGMAN. Yes, because I think I will give the especially the Catholics, is diluted by bribery.
Gentleman that opportunity to ask relevant questions. How? Okay, you are free to choose natural or artificial
family planning. You are free to choose, but if you use artificial
REP. GARCIA (P.). The prevailing doctrine of the Supreme family planning, the government will supply you with
Court on religious freedom and the establishment clause in the contraceptives. The government will supply you with IUDs.
Constitution is one of benevolent neutrality. In other words, So, the freedom of choice is defeated. Everyday of our lives,
the government is sometimes viewed as being partial or lenient we pray the Our Father:
to religion in order to respect that religion. For example, in the
case of Estrada vs. Escritor, although we have a law, the Civil Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy
Service Law, which would make employees of the government name, Thy kingdom come, x x x. Give us this day our
liable administratively for committing certain acts like daily bread, and lead us not into temptation x x x.
immorality, in this case, the State accommodated the belief of
that particular employee and the harshness of the law was not Now, this bill will lead Catholic women into temptation
applied against that employee. In short, it is one of benevolent because the government will be supplying them, free of
neutrality or even accommodation. charge, services and materials in order that they can resort to
Now, the reason that the Catholics—and not only the family planning. That is the evil of this law. That is why this
Catholics, the Sponsor also mentioned that the other religions bill is particularly and especially offensive, discriminatory
are not opposed to the RH Bill—the Baptists are also opposed against the Catholic Church. There is no freedom of choice
to the RH Bill, as well as other Protestant denominations... because the freedom is diluted or defeated by bribery, by
Now, the Constitution provides, in the Bill of Rights, temptation.
that: Suppose the government, in order to improve nutrition
in the Muslim areas, will say, “Okay, the government will
No law shall be made respecting an establishment provide free pork in the markets to be distributed by the DOH
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. or the DSWD.” Can we pass this kind of law when it is
The free exercise and enjoyment of religious offensive to the tenets or to the beliefs of the Muslim faith?
profession and worship, without discrimination or That is why the Catholic bishops are up in arms against this
preference, shall forever be allowed. bill.
Now, I would like to proceed. With the indulgence of the
Now, the Catholics, particularly the bishops, believe that Sponsor, if he does not want to answer questions about God …
this bill is particularly discriminatory against the Catholic
religion. This bill targets the Catholic religion. This bill does REP. LAGMAN. There were already questions not related
not respect a fundamental tenet of the Catholic Church. It is to God which I would like to answer. The distinguished
not correct to say, Mr. Speaker—I would like to correct the Gentleman said that the prevailing doctrine on religious
Sponsor’s statement—that the ban against contraception freedom is benevolent neutrality , but that is only with respect
started only in 1956 or 1960 with the Humanae Vitae. No. The to religion and personal interest. When it comes to the right
Catholic Church, from the first century until now, has not relaxed of the State to exercise police power for the protection of the
its position that contraceptives are against the law of God. general welfare, then there is no benevolent neutrality if
From the first century until now, that belief has not changed. religious dogma would transgress the government’s policy
Now, Mr. Speaker, knowing that that is a fundamental tenet of and the exercise of police power. This is the decision of the
the Catholic Church, the bill proposes to spend billions of Supreme Court in a litany of cases.
pesos in order that Catholics will violate the tenet of their We are here, honorable Members of this august Body, to
religion. So, this is discriminatory against the Catholics. legislate on the law of man, not the law of God. This is a
The Sponsor has been repeating that the core principle secular forum, the Congress of the Philippines.
of the RH Bill is freedom of choice. My question is: does it It is not a congregation of religious people. There is a
require a bill to allow people to exercise their freedom of need for a law to protect the fundamental rights of parents,
choice? There is no need for a law in order to assure people particularly of women, to determine fully, responsibly and
the free exercise of their choice because that is guaranteed freely the number and the spacing of their children. That
20 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

might be protected in the Bill of Rights but we all know that the After that privilege speech, they moved out but these lobby
Bill of Rights is not self-implementing. There has to be legislation groups, which are behind this bill and which are funded
to implement the various provisions contained in the Bill of by the multinationals and other NGOs, are very active here
Rights. There is no provision in the Reproductive Health Bill in their advocacy, the support for the RH Bill. Even the US
which would transgress the freedom of religion. The Catholics government, with its security, economic and strategic
have spoken, in almost two decades of surveys, that they interests, is interested in limiting the population of certain
want the enactment of a Reproductive Health Bill, and the countries, and one of them is the Philippines. I have here
government must use government funds in order to promote declassified information—declassified because this was
family planning including contraceptives. These surveys would classified information before but under American laws, after
include nationwide, regional and provincial surveys. In the a certain period, certain classified documents are
survey in Cebu involving a number of congressional districts, declassified. This is the Kissinger Report, National
there was overwhelming support by the people of Cebu for the Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) No. 200. You can
enactment of the Reproductive Health Bill. If we are true understand why the USAID, the Millennium Development
Representatives of the people, then we should be able to Goals, the United Nations Population Fund, et cetera, are
represent the sentiments of our constituents. In the SWS very much interested in this bill because it is to the interest
survey in Cebu in 2009, 75 percent of those surveyed agreed of the United States. This is the National Security Study
that there should be a law to distribute contraceptives like Memorandum No. 200, entitled: “Implications of Worldwide
condoms, IUDs and pills; 76 percent were in favor of the RH Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests.”
Bill; 88 percent agreed that there should be a law on RH and Now, the cat is out of the bag. I will cite one portion of
family planning; 87 percent said there should be a law that the report:
requires the government to teach family planning to the youth.
These are empirical data, and the results in Cebu reflected the Concentration on Key Countries. Assistance
results of the national survey. for population moderation should give primary
Let me refer to the 66 professors of the Ateneo emphasis to the largest and fastest growing
University, a truly Catholic institution of higher learning, developing countries where there is special US
when they said that the RH Bill is not an affront to the political and strategic interest.
teachings of the Catholic Church. In their position paper
entitled: Catholics Can Support the RH Bill in Good The Philippines is one of them. What are these countries?
Conscience, they said that the provisions of the RH Bill These are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico,
adhere to the core principles of Catholic social teachings: Indonesia, Brazil, Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey,
the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, Ethiopia and Colombia. This is a US document and so now,
the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, integral the people will know why the US government and the agencies
human development, human rights and the primacy of of the United Nations are lobbying not only in Congress but
conscience. These are Ateneo University professors, a elsewhere for the passage of this RH Bill.
leading Catholic university in this county. I have also Does the distinguished Sponsor, having admitted that
statements from important church officials who favor the he believes in God, that he is a Congressman who happens
enactment of the RH Bill. In other words, even the Catholic to be a Catholic, believe in the words of God? If that is
hierarchy, even the Catholic Church, is not unanimous in its somewhat embarrassing or incriminatory, I will not press
assault against the RH Bill. the question.

REP. GARCIA (P.). Okay. Mr. Speaker, it is good the REP. LAGMAN. Before I answer the last question, let me
Sponsor has mentioned the survey in Cebu because I would just correct the distinguished Gentleman that the survey made
like to inform my colleagues that these powerful and well- by the SWS in his district, as well as in the district of former
funded lobby groups which are behind the RH Bill and Deputy Speaker Raul Del Mar, was commissioned not by the
promoting the sale of contraceptives, IUDs, et cetera, PLCPD but by another NGO. If the distinguished Gentleman
which is a multi-billion dollar industry–these lobby groups, doubted the result of the survey in his district and in the
specifically the Philippine Legislators Committee on other district where the result was even better than the
Population and Development (PLCPD), of which I assume nationwide survey, then, he should have conducted an
the Gentleman is a member––conducted or targeted the independent survey so that the results could be repeated but
district of Congressman Del Mar, the Deputy Speaker of he never did. He never did.
the Fourteenth Congress, the father of Congresswoman Now, he talks about lobby groups supporting this
Cutie Del Mar; and my district. The SWS conducted the measure. As far as funding is concerned, I think the anti-RH
survey in my district and the district of Congressman Del Bill groups, including the Catholic hierarchy, are more well
Mar in order to embarrass Congressman Del Mar and this funded. Who funded the series and repeated media
Representation. When I asked the constituents: how was advertisements, the many one-page ads published by the
the survey conducted? They said the survey asked, “Do anti-RH groups, including the Catholic hierarchy in various
you want to live comfortably? Do you want to choose, et national newspapers, prominently in the Philippine Daily
cetera?” But the reason they targeted these two districts Inquirer and the Philippine Star?
will show the malice, the bad faith of these lobby groups. Who funded the Catholic Church-led anti-RH Bill prayer
So I delivered a privilege speech in this Session Hall rally staged at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park on 25
because this PLCPD was holding office right here in March 2011, with a reported mobilization of attendance from
Congress, taking advantage of the facilities of this office. Metro Manila and the other provinces? Who funded the anti-
TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011 21

RH Bill rallies in Cebu, Quezon, Laguna, Leyte, Negros It was 7:29 p.m.
Occidental, Pampanga, Zamboanga, General Santos City,
Catanduanes and other places nationwide? Who funded the RESUMPTION OF SESSION
very recent anti-RH Bill march dubbed as the “Jericho march”?
All of these activities of the anti-RH Bill groups were funded At 7:31 p.m., the session was resumed.
and needed logistics, and whatever lobby groups the
distinguished Gentleman is saying are supportive of the RH THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The session is
Bill, would pale in comparison to the massive mobilization resumed.
and media advertisements of the anti-RH Bill groups, including We would like to recognize the Sponsor of House Bill
the Catholic hierarchy. No. 4244, the Hon. Edcel C. Lagman.
That Kissinger report has never been effectively
implemented. We are not, in anyway, related to that Kissinger REP. LAGMAN. Mr. Speaker, before we suspend the
report, and I would make a thorough exposition of this consideration on this measure, which shall be continued
Kissinger report at the proper time. tomorrow, let me just make some brief answers to some
Now, with respect to whether I believe in the words of the questions interposed by the distinguished
of God, as a Catholic, I do. But let me say that God did Gentleman from Cebu so that they will not be left
not proscribe the use of contraceptives. God did not hanging.
prohibit the legislation of a reproductive health bill and He said that for four Congresses, the RH Bill has been
definitely, God would give His people the freedom of rejected. That is not true, Mr. Speaker, because we have
conscience, which we are following, and the free will to never voted on the RH Bill before and so, there had been no
act accordingly. These are words of God which we vote of rejection. This is just to make it very clear that this
subscribe to. advocacy is prevailing and has not been rejected by this
House.
REP. GARCIA (P.). Mr. Speaker, it is good that the Sponsor Next, the distinguished Gentleman is imagining a
mentioned funding. If the Catholic Church and the Catholic windfall coming from multinationals. We have nothing
bishops, if the Catholic hierarchy spent for or funded these in common with the multinationals. Majority of the RH
activities, it was and it is in defense of the faith, in defense of advocates, when they were fighting for the enactment
God. But the funding of these lobby groups is for the defense of the Cheaper Medicines Act, were against the
of billions of dollars of profits. That is the difference; you multinationals, and we have no affinity or any relations
cannot equate one funding with another. If the Catholic with the multinationals. It is most unkind for the
bishops and the Catholic hierarchy are conducting these distinguished Gentleman from Cebu to make that
activities, it is because they are praying to God that those accusation.
who are against lives, those who are pro-RH Bill, will see the With respect to onanism, which was first mentioned in
light of day and perhaps, just perhaps, would withdraw this a meeting between the Catholic bishops and representatives
obnoxious RH Bill, which four Congresses had already from Malacañang, let me just make the necessary clarification
rejected. Mr. Speaker, perhaps he failed to read that passage that the Bible has virtually nothing to say about birth control
or read the account in the Bible about Onan who was forced per se. The story of Onan being condemned to death for
to marry a widow and did not want to consummate the marriage practicing coitus interruptus pertains more to his refusal to
and so, he spilled his semen outside. This is onanism, and father children for his deceased brother as Jewish law
this is similar to the use of condoms. What happened to required, than the practice of a form of birth control. As a
Onan? He was condemned to death. matter of fact, coitus interruptus is a traditional method
Mr. Speaker, I would like to proceed. Since the Sponsor which, possibly, had been endorsed by the Catholic
believes in God and in the words of God, I would like to quote hierarchy before.
a passage from the Bible: So, we would like to express our gratitude to the
leadership for allowing us to resume the debates and our
So God created man in His own image, in the gratitude will be continuing as long as the debate continues
image of God He created them; male and female, He in the next sessions.
created them. God blessed them, and God said to
them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, fill the earth, and THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The Dep.
subdue it, have dominion over the fish of the sea, Majority Leader is recognized.
and the birds of the air, and every living thing that
moves on the earth. SUSPENSION OF CONSIDERATION
OF H.B. NO. 4244
Are these words of God supportive of the RH Bill?
Before the Sponsor answers that question, I noticed REP. BINAY. Mr. Speaker, I move that we suspend the
that—I want to convince as many of my colleagues as consideration of House Bill No. 4244.
possible but they are not here.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). Is there any
SUSPENSION OF SESSION objection? (Silence) The Chair hears none; the motion is
approved.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The session is The consideration of House Bill No. 4244 is hereby
suspended. suspended.
22 TUESDAY, MAY 17, 2011

ADJOURNMENT OF SESSION THE DEPUTY SPEAKER (Rep. Remulla). The session is


adjourned until tomorrow, Wednesday, at four o’clock in the
REP. BINAY. Mr. Speaker, I move that we adjourn the afternoon.
session until Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at four o’clock in the
afternoon. I so move. It was 7:35 p.m.

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