Quotable quotes from the RH debates

RH debate quotable quotes

Memorable – and forgettable – lines from the Senate RH bill debates (September 28, 2011)

•On gender roles

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile:

“In the coconut farm areas, I have yet to see a woman climbing a coconut tree to gather coconuts.”

“I think I can venture to say that more men die going out to see or into the fields to earn a living than women dying because of giving birth to a child.”

“Every year we know of men who go out to sea, who go out to their farms and get bitten by snake. These are not counted by statistics.”

“If we go to the case of our social structure, in the case of farmers, in the rural areas, the human beings plowing in the field – to plant rice, to plant corn, or to plant crops – are all men. Of course the women, they help in harvesting sometimes. But most of the time these are the functions of the farmers.”

“In the case of fishing, the fishermen are mostly men. In the case of lumbering, this is all the function of men, to earn a living for their families.”

“In the case of workers, most of our workers in the country are men, who feed their families, because that’s the nature of the genders: The women are supposed to stay at home and tend to the problems of the home and the children, and the men go out, risk their lives in order to earn a living. So one ‘compensates’ the other.”

Senator Pia S. Cayetano:

“His Honor’s view embodies the position that men have held for decades or probably for centuries: That the men’s work is the work that matters. And that the women’s work … is invisible and unpaid. Precisely why His Honor says men go out and risk their lives and women stay home and take care of the children.”

“Women’s work is invisible work…If you only consider the men’s work as that which provides for the family, then definitely, the woman is an invisible worker kasi wala nga sya sa radar eh.”

•On maternal deaths

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile:

“What surprises me, in the rural areas, without the assistance of doctors, women give birth, hardly anyone would die. I do not know why they die in hospitals.”

“I am talking about the experience in my barangay where I grew up. I know everybody in that big barangay and during my whole time living in that barangay, I have not known a single woman who has died while giving birth. And yet this is the poorest barangay. I mentioned this again this morning, in the budget [deliberations] of the DSWD. Until now it is still the poorest barangay in the country.”

Sen. Pia S. Cayetano:

“[Between] the chances of a man who is a seafarer, and a woman who is giving birth dying at home without the support of a professional, the chances of her of having complications that would require life intervention would probably be greater than her husband succumbing at sea.”

“The women who die will not have their faces flashed [in the news] because oftentimes, this [story] would not be [considered] newsworthy…that women lose their lives in their own homes giving birth. It is not even as newsworthy as a fisherman who gets lost at sea.”

“Unfortunately other barangays are not as lucky as His Honor’s (Enrile’s) barangay. Women are dying and that is a fact.” #

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