Pia: Women senators voted for RH bill

News Release
November 20, 2012

Transcript of Interview of Sen. Pia S. Cayetano
On the RH bill amendments
Senate session hall

Q: On the deletion of the mandate for LGUs and removal of private health care providers on the RH bill, ano po ang magiging impact nito?

SPSC: Actually nandun pa lang kami sa very first part ng bill, so marami pang ibang provisions, both on the health care providers and the LGUs. Marami pang iba. So marami pang opportunity to clarify that.

Kasi kung titignan mo rin yung sa population issue [proposed amendments to delete references to the International Conference on Population and Development, and the term ‘population and development], if you recall, dalawang magkasunod yun di ba? Natalo kami sa una, pero nabawi sa pangalawa.

So ganun din naman yun. And at least it gave me the opportunity to clarify sa mga kasamahan ko na, ‘Ano ba talaga yung issue n’yo, bakit ayaw ng ganun?’ Natakot kasi sila na sapilitan; na ang mga LGUs ay didiktahan. Pero niliwanag ko at lilinawagin ko ulit para hindi sila matakot, na wala akong binabago, kundi kung ano man ang nakapaloob sa Local Government Code. Nandun pa rin ang autonomy ng bawat local government. Kina-clarify lang natin that reproductive health is a part of primary health care. So we’re hoping na after I have the time to really explain this to them, in the succeeding provisions, maka-clarify yun.

Q: So kung mai-clarify n’yo maibabalik pa ba yung provision?
SPSC: Not necessarily na mababalik yung provision na yun. Kasi if you look at it, it’s just one statement, marami pang mas specific na provision defining yung mga obligasyon ng national government and local government. So it is in those provisions na feeling ko, mas importanteng magkaliwanagan. And I’m still hopeful na maliliwanagan ang mga kasama ko. Kasi some of these are new to them.

But I have to say na ang sama lang ng loob ko, kasi doon sa definition ng ‘health care providers,’ kung titignan mo yung ibang batas hindi naman tayo gumagawa ng distinction sa private at public, di ba?

Yung DOH, pwede naman talaga nyang tignan kung tama yung ginagawa ng isang private hospital at ng isang public hospital. So bakit pagdating dito, sa very sensitive na gender issue, ayaw mong i-impose iyon sa private hospitals? And that’s why I feel it’s a gender issue. Gusto ko lang na mamulat ang mata ng mga kasamahan ko na nagiging biased tayo dyan. It’s a gender issue, and you are discriminating once more against women.

Q: [inaudible]

SPSC: I know some of them are not aware na yan ang effect ng boto n’yo. You discriminate against women because a very important part of their health will not be attended to in a private hospital, just because akala n’yo na dapat public hospital lang ang rendahan ng gobyerno. Hindi.

How would you feel kung yung public transportation wala nang pakialam ang gobyerno kasi may private na nagpapatakbo? Tama ba yun? Hindi. The government still regulates yang mga services na dapat ay pinakikikinabangan ng tao, nire-regulate pa rin ng gobyerno, including health care. Hindi pwedeng maitsapwera ang private.

Q: Pero Mam sa issue ng ‘conception’ [‘when does life begin’] na-clarify na?

SPSC: Yes, I’m very happy na na-clarify yan. I’m thankful na full support doon ang majority. And I’d like to take the opportunity to say na sana napansin din ng taumbayan na full support; na 100% ang voting ng kababaihan in the Senate [Senators Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Loren Legarda].

I think that is very important; I think it sends a very strong message that this is a pro-women bill. And yung mga bumoboto against it ay talagang unfortunately, tatawagin ko talaga kayong ‘hindi maka-babae.’ Hindi n’yo pinapahalagahan ang babae. Kasi po kami ang apektado dito.

Q: Mam lastly, may pag-asa pa ba na maipasa ang RH bill? Hindi po ba pagkatapos nito [sin tax], yun namang budget?

SPSC: Okay lang kasi one week lang naman ang budget eh. So tamang-tama, it would give me an opportunity to confirm kung ano din yung mga concerns nila. Nagkaroon ako ng idea based on the voting. And then, I will be back in full force. [laughs]

Q: Ok, Mam thank you po. #

PHOTO: Sen. Pia Cayetano being interviewed on Tuesday’s session

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