Earlier Senate vote on RH bill eyed

Posted at 12/12/2012 7:25 PM | Updated as of 12/13/2012 11:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate may advance a vote on the Reproductive Health (RH) bill on both 2nd and 3rd reading.

Senator Vicente Sotto III, a critic of the RH bill, said that is if the amendments he will propose on Monday will be accepted by the bill's primary sponsor, Senator Pia Cayetano.

On the floor, Sotto manifested that the RH bill may be put to a vote on 3rd reading on Wednesday instead of Thursday after a possible vote on 2nd reading on Monday.

Sotto is the only senator who has yet to propose amendments after Senator Ralph Recto finished his proposals Wednesday.

Of all the amendments Recto proposed and which were subjected to a vote by the plenary, only one was accepted: the proposal to require parental consent before minors can access modern family planning methods.

Cayetano had opposed the amendment, noting that minors don't inform or ask permission from parents and elders before having sex.

Co-sponsor Senator Miriam Santiago responded by citing the privacy of teens.

Once Sotto finishes his amendments, Cayetano expects the bill to be put to a vote on 2nd reading. Cayetano said she will study Sotto's proposals.

Cayetano reminded Sotto of an earlier commitment to vote for the bill's approval should it contain zero appropriations. Cayetano noted that this condition has been met.

The Recto amendments to make optional RH classes for students and to remove penalties for public officials who don't comply with RH bill provisions also lost.