Student leaders stand up for the RH Bill

6 10 2011
Student Council Alliance of the Philippines National Spokesperson JC Tejano argues that the RH bill proposed budget of P3B is actually an education and health service for all.

Annabel’s RestaurantOctober 6, 2011

https://scapnational.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/student-leaders-stand-up-for-the-rh-bill/

A group of student leaders today stand up for the Reproductive Health Bill, calling for legislators to heed the call of reason in the discussion of the bill. The student leaders also challenged anti-RH legislators to a debate in the forum hosted by the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) and The Forum for Family Planning and Development.
Job de Leon of the Ateneo Debate Society stated:

“The Ateneo Debate Society believes that reproductive health is an essential human right.  We cannot say in good conscience that women must simply accept their fate to bear a fetus.  As an extension of the right to bodily autonomy, individuals should be given greater control over its functions, including the decision to avoid and prevent pregnancies.  Denying them access to fundamental treatment essentially is to deny them a life of better quality”.

Roby Camagong, Chairperson of Alyansayang TAPAT sa Lasallista of DLSU also said:

“I believe that the RH Bill should be passed now because of its universality.  Everyone deserves healthcare, education and right to information, regardless of one’s religious affiliations and political beliefs.

As a matter of fact, it is also supported by the bill of rights Section 5: No law shall be made respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall forever be allowed.

Furthermore, the article explains that there should be no religious barriers when exercising one’s civil or political rights, especially the right to education, information and healthcare.

This argument supports the principle of secularism.  The concept of the separation of church and state wherein our government can assert our right to be free from religious rulings and impositions especially when it comes to policy making.  Political ideas should be unbiased by religious influences because politics includes public reason necessary for legislation and administration unlike religion which should be exclusive for their private lives.

My next point is the religious manifestation of such influence in the youth sector.

As a student from a Catholic university, I can say that there are alot of misconceptions about the bill, one of which is that the RH Bill is anti-life.  This is false because it doesn’t hinder or destroy life but improves the quality of life.  When children are born and left alive to suffer, their dignity is reduced.  Without the RH Bill, the cost is people’s welfare.  Another misconception is that the RH Bill will create a culture of promiscuity.  In line with this, I would like to address the legislators who are against the bill because it may spread promiscuity among young people.  Do you honestly think we cannot handle sex education? How dare you insult our generation!

From the perspective of a secularist in a Catholic university, I believe that the bill was never about religion or sex.  The bill seeks to protect a fundamental human right: the right to decide when and how often one becomes a parent or the right not to be a parent at all.

I strongly believe that the condemnation of the bill due to religious beliefs is the reaction of a medieval mind to reject modern science and reason.  It’s quite ironic since to reject a bill that would help the poor and the marginalized is to be un-Christian”.

Also present during the press conference were Cleo Leogardo, National Affairs Chairperson of the De La Salle University Student Government; Kevin Mandrilla, University of the East Student Council Chairperson; JC Tejano, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council Chairperson of the University of the Philippines-Diliman; Leona Arcellana, Secretary-General of BIGKIS- UP Manila; and Chet Rico, Arts and Sciences Student Council Secretary of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa.

email: scap.neb@gmail.com

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19 responses

11 10 2011
kristine

i support RH BILL – kristinesanjose
BulSU-SC

13 10 2011
Julio Meridio

“Student Council Alliance of the Philippines National Spokesperson JC Tejano argues that the RH bill proposed budget of P3B is actually an education and health service for all.”

Are you sure it’s P3B? Sen. Pia Cayetano admitted that the DOH had asked for P13.7 billion to implement the RH bill for 2012.

13 10 2011
scapnational

Hello Julio, at the time of the media activity, P3B was the proposed budget for the implementation of RH. Later that day, the proposed budget became close to 14 billion, as said by Senator Pia.

13 10 2011
Julio Meridio

Thanks scapnational! Things happen very fast!

Is the P14Billion proposed budget for RH justifiable in the wake of budget cuts in education? The amount also means billions in taxpayers’ money…

13 10 2011
Julio Meridio

“Political ideas should be unbiased by religious influences because politics includes public reason necessary for legislation and administration unlike religion which should be exclusive for their private lives.”

Some other points of clarification:
1. Whose private lives are we talking about?
2. Does the statement quoted from the article above mean that religion is not rational, not reasonable, good enough to be limited to “private life”?
3. Isn’t secularism a form of religion, a system of beliefs?

14 10 2011
Julio Meridio

Hi scapnational!

“Later that day, the proposed budget became close to 14 billion, as said by Senator Pia.”

It has always been at P13.7B even before Pia Cayetano’s admission.

15 10 2011
scapnational

Your source please?

15 10 2011
scapnational

Secularism and religion can be under one clarification as both are ideologies. What separates religion from secularism is that faith plays a big part in religion, faith that many does not hold in a pluralistic society. Labeling secularism as religion on the basis that both are a set of beliefs is purely moot and academic for us, a matter of labels and terms.

The point of the matter is, there is a danger in espousing religious tenets, not founded on reason, towards legislation such as the Reproductive Health Bill.

15 10 2011
scapnational

SCAP believes that one welfare service should not be pitted against the other. Look at the merits of the RH bill and it justifies its own supposed budget allocation (pending IRRs).

15 10 2011
scapnational

The matters of opinion expressed here can be well addressed in person. Therefore, we invite you to our next campus forum (which we will announce through our website). You can also invite our student leaders to an RH forum to be hosted by your school/ organization/ locality.

15 10 2011
15 10 2011
Julio Meridio

One more:

http://senatorpiacayetano.com/?p=736

Lito Lapid: “Magkano po ang (budget) kabuuan?”

Pia Cayetano: “Ito po ang proposal ng DOH. Bago ko ibigay ang kabuuan, nire-request ko pa ito na himayin ng DOH. For 2012, P13.7B ang kanilang hinihingi. May P3M po para sa major final output sa health policy and development program; capacity building ay P18.5M; sa priority health programs, P12.5B. Hindi ko po ibinibigay ang suporta sa halaga na ito dahil hihimayin pa.”

15 10 2011
scapnational

The earliest that Sen. Pia Cayetano announced the almost P14B budget was October 4. This was clearly not what Rep. Edcel Lagman, the author at the House of Representatives, had in mind.

Manila Standard, February 17:
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNation.htm?f=2011/february/17/nation1.isx&d=2011/february/17
“There was no amount earmarked by the Abaya committee but the initial funding would come from the “savings” of the Department of Health. The original bill had sought a P3 billion annual funding.”

This was also the data used by different organizations, pro or anti, such as the Filipino Freethinkers, YUP, the “9YL”. IF we were to get to the core, it seems that Rep. Lagman estimated P3B while Sen. Cayetano’s version amounts to near P14B, which she announced during the October 4 interpellations.

We hope to update our data more efficiently. Thank you.

15 10 2011
Julio Meridio

Agreed. Thank you once again. Appreciate the update.

The main implementing agency, if this bill were to be approved, is the DOH.
Is the P3B budget that Rep. Lagman has in mind different from the proposed P14B budget for the DOH?

15 10 2011
scapnational

It is very difficult to speculate since the issue is still a bill and the implementing rules and regulations have yet to be formulated once it becomes a law.

17 10 2011
Julio Meridio

Thanks for the quickly reply!

Yes, it’s very difficult to speculate but we can agree on the following facts (with sources):

1. “There was no amount earmarked by the Abaya committee but the initial funding would come from the “savings” of the Department of Health. The original bill had sought a P3 billion annual funding.”

(http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/insideNation.htm?f=2011/february/17/nation1.isx&d=2011/february/17)

2. “Ito po ang proposal ng DOH. Bago ko ibigay ang kabuuan, nire-request ko pa ito na himayin ng DOH. For 2012, P13.7B ang kanilang hinihingi.” – Sen. Pia Cayetano

(http://senatorpiacayetano.com/?p=736).

17 10 2011
Julio Meridio

For purposes of discussion:

1. The Commission on Population (POPCOM) as an attached agency of DOH, shall serve as the coordinating body in the implementation of this Act…

(HB4244 Sec. 25, lines 19-20, p. 18 of 23; see http://www.likhaan.org/sites/default/files/pdf/15th_congress_hb4244.pdf).

2. The Bill was submitted by Rep. Rogelio J. Espina, M.D., Chairman – Committee on Population and Family Relations.

3. “SCAP National Spokesperson JC Tejano argues that the RH bill proposed budget of P3B is actually an education and health service for all.”

> If it’s an education and health service bill for all, why is the POPCOM implementing the bill once turned into a law? Why is the Committee on Population and Family Relations submitting the RH Bill? Why not the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture or the Committee on Higher and Technical Education? Or the House Committee on Health?

21 10 2011
scapnational

Julio, quick reply to your points:

If your issue is which agency is implementing it, it doesn’t nullify the fact that once turned into law, it will provide health services and CSE. It seems that you have alot of questions in your mind and you may email us via scap.neb@gmail.com for us to sponsor an event in your school/locality/organization. Thank you.

28 10 2011
Julio Meridio

Hi scapnational! Thank you!

The implementing agency is just one issue. It’s not the heart of the matter. Sponsoring an event doesn’t or shouldn’t stop any of us from exchanging ideas in this forum, right?

Besides, as of writing, this blog has 30,144 hits. – Congratulations! This forum is a very good venue where one can “stand up for the RH Bill” and answer questions raised above and those below for the benefit of many readers.

You wrote, “it will provide health services and CSE”.

By CSE, I presume you mean Comprehensive Sexuality Education. Can you elaborate on this?

As regards health services provided, what are the national health issues or problems that the RH Bill is meant to address?

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