Friday, August 19, 2011

RH Bill

My mom has always been vocal on her stand on RH bill and has been strongly oppossing the enactment of HOUSE BILL NO. 5043 “Reproductive Health and Population Development” (RH Bill) authored by house representatives Edcel Lagman, Janette Garin, Narciso Santiago III and Ana Theresa Honteveros . Few months ago, my mom, along with   Catholic Women’s League and fellow Pro-Life Philippines activists attended a conference against RH Bill . According to her,  the conference has enlightened her about the horrors of the said bill. She showed her apparent resentments towards its authors by painstakingly echoing to us what was disclosed in the council, reiterating that the said bill was anti-women, unconstitutional, misleading and immoral. Honestly at that time, I insouciantly listened to my mom for I have always been apolitical. I am not also the type of person who would voluntarily barrack on one’s side based on a premise. Due to the constant clamor left and right of pro and anti- RH bill. I’ve decided to take time
to read the 40-page material which my mom handed  me few months ago. But before I began reading,I took my constitution book ,which has long been in the land of nod, out of my corner cupboard to reread the state policies.

Article II. Section 12 provides: “ The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from contraception. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.”

Former senator Kit Tatad, in his article “What’s Wrong with the RH Bill?” stated: Sanctity-the state of being holy-is an attribute of God. God is not outside of our lives; the very first words of the Constitution proclaim it : “ We, the sovereign Filipino People, imploring the aid of Almighty God…”
Obedience to God’s laws, therefore, is not only a solemn teaching of the Church, but also an express constitutional mandate. (Tatad 5)

Yes, I totally agree. Another thing that caught my attention was the penalties that will be imposed to employers when they fail to comply with the obligations under section 17.

Reproductive HB 5043 Sec.17 states : Employers shall respect the reproductive health rights of all their workers. Women shall not be discriminated against in the matter of hiring regularization of employment status or selection for retrenchment.

                                                    PROHIBITED ACTS

Sec. 21 c) Any employer who shall fail to comply with his obligation under section 17 of this act or an employer who requires a female applicant of employee  as a condition for employment or continued employment, to involuntary undergo sterilization, tubal ligation or any other form of contraceptive method;

Sec 22 c) Any employer or his representative who shall require an employee or applicant, as a condition for employment or continued employment, to undergo sterilization or use or not use of any family planning method, neither shall pregnancy be a ground for non-hiring or termination of employment.

This means that employers can be subjected to imprisonment and/or a fine for every time that he/she fails to comply.

Section 23. Penalties – Any commission of the foregoing prohibited acts or violation of the Act shall be penalized by imprisonment  ranging from one  (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of ten thousand pesos (10,000) to fifty (50,000) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court… an offender who is a public officer shall suffer the accessory to the penalty of dismissal from the government service.

As, employers, do you agree to be compelled to provide free productive health care services, supplies, devices and surgical procedures (including vasectomy and ligation) to your employess, and be subjected to both imprisonment and/or fine, for every time that you fail to comply?

I am not here to bombard my readers with the negative views on RH bill, I still remain apolitical because I haven’t finished reading the material and haven’t drawn my own conclusion about the matter. I will continue posting pieces of information about RH bill.

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