Businessmen urge Congress to pass RH law

Posted at 08/06/12 12:46 PM

Survey shows majority of MBC members support RH bill

MANILA, Philippines - Five major business groups in the Philippines called on Congress to pass the Reproductive Health (RH) bill into law as soon as possible.

Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) issued a joint statement titled "For Responsible Parenthood."

"We strongly believe government must encourage responsible parenthood and promote family
planning as a direct strategy for poverty reduction and maternal and child healthcare. The active
role envisioned for government in the promotion of family planning is in keeping with the
expressed desire of a significant majority of Filipinos as manifested in major national surveys," the groups said.

The business groups believe parents should have the final say in family planning.

"While various parties and interested sectors may provide advice and guidance to parents on alternative choices regarding family size and the means to achieve their desired objective, we believe these are decisions ultimately for the parents themselves to make.”  The groups further added that “such a focused policy of family planning must provide lowest-cost access for the very poor to the services and materials to implement their free and informed choice," they said.

However, they are against any measure that "condones abortion, limits free choice and  mandates the means to implement such choice."

The business groups' support for the RH bill comes after prayer rallies against the RH bill were held around the country on Saturday. The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has also said it will use next year’s elections to bolster its stance against the RH bill.

MBC survey

Meanwhile, an MBC survey showed majority of its respondents supported the passage of the RH bill.

In the survey, MBC members were asked: "Should House Bill 4244 entitled 'The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of  2011' be passed into law?"

As much as 80.2% of the respondents answered "yes" in support of the passage of HB 4244. Only 18.6 percent said "no," and 1.2 percent gave no answer.

The survey was conducted from August 1 to 3, via fax and online. There were 86 chief and senior executives who participated in the survey, which accounted for 11.5% of MBC’s total membership.