After decades of debates in the congress, the controversial RH Bill has finally passed the 1st stage. What supposed to be tomorrows voting was held today in the House of Representatives. In voting via Viva Voce, the members of the House of Representatives finally voted to end the debates on the RH Bill and move to the 2nd stage which is the stage of amendments.
The voting came after 182 congressmen/women went on a caucus with President Aquino III in Malacanang Palace. According to House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong Representative Neptali Gonzales, both Pro and Anti-RH Bill members of the house during the caucus, agreed to end the debates in the plenary and move to the next stage. It was a welcome surprise to all RH Bill supporters because the original schedule for the voting was supposed to be August 7, Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Anti-RH Bill faction in the congress immediately took the floor to oppose moves to vote. Rep. Rufus Rodriguez took the podium to say that he’s still not finish with his interpellation and that there are also other members who are still lined-up to interpellate. Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay also questioned the haste in ending the dabates saying they should previously agreed date of voting which is August 7. But Pro-RH Rep. Rodolfo Biazon countered, saying the bill was already debated for decades and the same questions with the same answer always floats so it’s really right time to put an end to the debates.
After that, the voting pushed through and from the 231 present members, majority have voted to end the period of interpellation and move on to the period of amendments. This is a long-waited triumph for the RH advocates but the battle isn’t over as the Senate has yet do their part.It is a different ball game in the Senate as the Senate President himself and the Senate Majority Floor Leader are known RH Critics. But RH champions, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Senator Pia Cayetano are optimistic it will also pass in Senate.
- House terminates debates on RH bill (newsinfo.inquirer.net)