MANILA, Philippines - Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, principal author of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the House of Representatives, has called for a dialogue with Catholic Church leaders on the touchy issue.
Lagman, issued the statement after Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle expressed willing- ness to resume dialogue with Malacañang officials on the bill.
The lawmaker said he wants to have “enlightening sessions” with the leaders of the Catholic Church but warned that it should not derail the plenary debates on the bill.
He said the meeting with RH bill advocates could be held jointly or separately with Malacañang officials.
Lagman, however, said the dialogue should focus on the freedom of informed choice on the use of family planning methods for as long as these are legal, safe and effective.
The RH bill states that there shall be neither compulsion nor bias in favor of a particular family planning method; a full recognition that the Philippines has a population problem which is aggravat- ed by limited resources and a precarious carrying capacity; and there is an indubitable and empirical linkage between population and sustainable human development, including poverty.
“No human development agenda is achievable without addressing the issue on population; the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), particularly on of infant mortality, attainment of universal primary education and eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, can be made more attainable with the passage of the RH bill,” it added.
The RH bill envisions a comprehensive and nationwide policy on responsible parenthood, family planning and population development. improvement of maternal health, reduction. (From Phistar.com)