Sen Pia on RH bill amendments

News Release
06 September 2012

Those against it will oppose RH even if it’s a piece of blank paper
Transcript of interview with Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
Topic: Reproductive Health bill committee amendments
Senate second floor hallway
05 September 2012

Q: Could you explain the amendment to the title of the bill, is this meant to make the bill more acceptable?

PSC: If you look at the records during the interpellations, sinabi ko talaga na, as sponsor, wala talagang population component yung bill ko. Whatever is pegged on population is based on choices of individual families. Walang population program, so sabi ko, I have no problem removing that, eh nagkataon lang na yung bill na finile – that was discussed on the floor – had it. And then, the phrase on responsible parenthood was included to just be a little bit more aligned with the House bill. Because the closer we are, the less we have to debate when we go into bicam.

Q: Mam yung Section 9, parang tinanggal n’yo doon, at least sa title yung ‘essential medicines’ part?

PSC: That is actually just a clarification because in fact, the name of the whole… libro yan, eh …is the ‘Philippine Drug Formulary.’ It’s just so frustrating on my part that yung practice na ngayon ay practice, para bang, it’s as if it’s a new thing I’m putting in, when in fact it’s the practice. It’s there in the Philippine Drug Formulary. It’s acknowledged as an essential part of that list. So sige, let’s not call it medicine, but it’s part of that list.

Q: With these changes, do you hope that the sectors which are against it, medyo magkakaroon ng ibang framework, or mindset?

PSC: Honestly, those who don’t like the RH bill, nothing will change. Sabi ko nga, kahit blangkong papel pa yung i-submit ko, tututol pa rin sila doon, di ba? (laughs)

Pero for those who are reasonable, na may mga ibang concerns, I hope that the changes we made would clarify the issues that they have. And then of course I’m still open sa period of individual amendments, kung may amendments sila. Malalaman naman po natin kung yung amendments nila is to really clarify, or to strengthen, or kung ayaw talaga. Kasi kung ayaw talaga, go ahead, just go ahead and just vote against the bill, and let us move forward.

Q: Gaano katagal po yung period of amendments?

PSC: Well, since aalamin pa natin ang status ng iba’t ibang bansa, hindi ko alam kung gaano katagal yan. (laughs) But again, sabi ko nga, nakikiusap ako for reasonableness, dun sa mga remaining questions nila, na wag naman sanang patagalin. Para naman, tulad naman ng trabaho at atensyong naibigay namin sa ibang bill, ganun din ang maibigay sa RH. #

Photo: Sen. Pia Cayetano making a manifestation after Sen. Vicente Sotto III delivered the final chapter of his turno en contra speech against the RH bill.

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