rh_bill_deprioritized_article2.jpgAlthough the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill has garnered a lot of support, especially over the past year, Malacañang announced earlier this week that the bill would no longer be included in its list of priority measures. In defense of the decision not to recommend the RH Bill for prioritization in Congress this year, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was quoted on Inquirer.net as saying, “We are not pushing, we are not introducing the bill until after we finish the dialogue with the bishops.”

Pro-RH Bill proponents have already begun to express their disappointment and anger at this exclusion, and among the most vocal was Sen. Pia Cayetano. The senator, one of the RH Bill’s staunchest advocates, was quoted as saying that this decision “indicates a leadership that is indecisive and vulnerable to pressure,” PhilStar.com reports .

She went on to say that "what was worse was that President (Noynoy Aquino) pulled out the RH Bill from the list of priority bills at a time when the congressional hearings are about to be concluded and the plenary debates would commence. . . . This will be a true test of the political will of this administration, as well as the President’s sincerity and conviction."

But the senator and Womanity Awards finalist for Public Service was not the only person to share her opinion about this move. Spot.PH quotes Elizabeth Angsioco, chair of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) and Womanity Awards finalist for Advocacy, as saying, "(The administration's move) is not only anti-women, but also anti-poor. (The President) is betraying the millions of Filipinos who voted for him because he made a pact that he will listen to them. The RH bill was a campaign promise under his social contract with the Filipino people."

And as the news has spread, so has the public outcry.

“I'm utterly disappointed but not surprised,” Lea Salonga, singer, actress, Womanity Awards finalist for the Arts, and RH Bill advocate tweeted earlier today.

Model and Showtime judge Georgina Wilson shared her feelings about the Palace’s decision via Twitter as well: “Noynoy what are you doing? The RH bill was a campaign promise to the Filipino people. So disappointing. You let us down, again. :(”

Iza Calzado, the star of the recently concluded TV series Beauty Queen and Womanity Awards finalist for Entertainment, also tweeted her disappointment: “I wish Pnoy would support the RHbill :( there are already too many People in our country and we are too poor to keep producing more ppl,” to which SNN TV host Bianca Gonzalez replied, “I wish for that too.”

What’s your say on the Palace’s decision to deprioritize the RH Bill? Take our poll to share your opinion!

You can also read up on the RH Bill with these FN articles:

(Photo sources: Screencap via Twitter.com; P-Noy photo via Wikimedia Commons ; Pia Cayetano photo via  Wikimedia Commons; photos of Georgina Wilson, Iza Calzado, Bianca Gonzalez, and Lea Salonga courtesy of PEP.ph) 
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