MANILA, Philippines -- The bicameral conference committee has approved the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill Wednesday, two days after both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the measure on third reading.
Senator Pia Cayetano, the principal author of the Senate version of the bill, said they were successful in resolving contentious provisions of the bill during their deliberations on the measure this morning.
"We tried first of all to arrive at compromises. I think we were successful and I need to congratulate everyone 'cause we could not have arrived at those compromises if people did not really work hard at it, " Cayetano told reporters.
"I know the anti-RH gave in to some provisions that they didn't like. I'd like to believe this is the best that we could come up with at this time and I'm pretty happy with it," she added.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, likewise, said, "This is truly a supreme collective effort principally of the RH bill advocates and even of the anti-RH or critics of the bill."
Among the contentious issues were the provision on access of minors to family planning and reproductive health education, and the roles of the national government and local government units.
Senators Bongbong Marcos, Francis Pangilinan, TG Guingona, Alan Cayetano, Vicente Sotto, Ralph Recto and Ping Lacson, and Congressmen Rogelio Espina Jr., Cesar Sarmiento, Henedina Abad, Janette Garin, Danilo Suarez, Teddy Baguilat, Kaka Bag-ao and Antonio Tinio were also present during the deliberations.
ANC News Now, December 19, 2012