MANILA, Dec. 9, 2011— An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is sounding alarm over President Benigno Aquino’s order on lawmakers to fast-track the passage reproductive health (RH) bill.
Fr. Melvin Castro of the CBCP’s Commission on Family and Life said it is unfortunate that Aquino wanted the birth control measure passed immediately, setting aside the need for more discussions among lawmakers.
The CBCP official called on the President to give a healthy debate on the proposed RH bill a chance.
“Our appeal is for the right process to be followed. Let’s give all the lawmakers to interpolate and ask questions because that is their right,” said Castro.
“Let’s do it right. It’s for the benefit of the people anyway. If every aspects of the RH bill will carefully be discussed, the public will realize that we don’t need to pass it into a law,” he said.
Castro was reacting to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr’s statement that Aquino’s is already pressing the House of Representatives to immediately vote on the RH bill.
In a meeting last week, Belmonte revealed that Aquino told him to “do his best” to expedite the deliberations of the measure which requires government funding on contraceptives.
Senator Majority Floor Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III earlier revealed that an RH lobby group have been getting funding from foreign organizations known to be waging an international campaign for the legalization of abortion.
He said that the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) – has a budget for “nurturing legislators” from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which has been criticized for its coercive abortion policies.
Sotto added that the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) has also been getting millions of dollars in subsidies from UNFPA and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the largest abortion provider in the world.
“If not because of Senator Sotto, we will not discover these issues. So let’s give more time for discussion and the chance for those who want to interpolate,” Castro said. [CBCPNews]