CBCP reiterates call against passing the Reproductive Health Bill

September 16, 2009 12:42 pm 

MANILA, September 16 – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday said lawmakers should study thoroughly the Reproductive Health Bill or House Bill 5043 and not to fast-track their discussion on the bill.

“We hope that the normal process of discussion and interpellation will be observed, that the congressmen who have signified to interpellate on the RH Bill be honored and given the opportunity to interpellate,” said CBCP president Archbishop Angel Lagdameo.

The bishops’ statement was issued amidst the reported plan of Congress to shorten the discussion of controversial bill and to have it passed before the end of October.

The Jaro, Iloilo prelate said there should be long discussions and debates about the issue, noting that it is a very important matter.

“I’d like to look at a prolonged discussion, prolonged debate on an important subject matter as the RH Bill,” he said.

He said that there are many things that the people can learn with open discussion, as he hopes that the authors of the bill will also open themselves to be educated so that they would pass a bill that would be more according to the heart of the people.

“It is not only the public that will learn from long discussions on the issue but also the lawmakers who introduced the bill as they can base their decision on what the people think and according to the Catholic values and morality since majority of them have Catholic hearts,” he added.

For his part, Fr. Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, seconded the appeal of the CBCP head.

“We beg the proponents of the bill not to fast track this. Give time to your fellow legislators, give time to the people to have this ample time to debate on it and discuss on it so that everybody will find objectively that there’s no need for any RH bill to be enacted as a law,” he said.

Castro also expressed gratitude to House Speaker Prospero Nograles for holding on to their own rules to go ahead with the full and due process of entertaining all the interpellators.

“But we are appealing to him to be steadfast on that. We are appealing to our pro-life and family legislators to be steadfast as well,” he said. (PNA)

DCT/FGP/utb

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