Responsible parenthood, not RH bill, Sotto insists
MANILA, Philippines - Senator Tito Sotto believes that the Senate will most likely favor responsible parenthood, as mentioned Monday by President Benigno Aquino in his State of the Nation Address (SONA, instead of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill.
"Everybody is willing to have responsible parenthood" said Sotto, who is opposing the RH bill.
Malacañang, however, said Tuesday that the President was referring to the same consolidated bill on reproductive health now pending in Congress when he made a pitch for the passage of the responsible parenthood bill in his SONA.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the draft bill submitted by the Palace has been consolidated with the version being pushed by advocates of reproductive health in Congress.
It has the title "An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and for other purposes."
The Palace prefers to use the shorthand "Responsible Parenthood bill" in referring to it.
The measure was included in the list of the administration's priority bills during the meeting of the LEDAC.
Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile said they will try their best to accomodate the President's position on responsible parenthood.
Senator Pia Cayetano, who authored the Senate version of the bill, is seeking an earlier schedule for the bill.
Cayetano is open to debates for any amendments, but she wants to have it done this month, instead of the planned August 27.
She said there is just a minor difference in the use of terms, but her reproductive health bill and the Palace's responsible parenthood bill are almost similar. - with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News