After almost 15 years of being pending at the house of congress, the controversial Reproductive Health Bill or commonly known as the RH Bill has finally been passed on both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Voting today, the Senate passed the bill on its 2nd and 3rd reading. This is after President Aquino’s move last week to certify it as an urgent bill, which made it possible for the Senators to immediately vote on the 3rd reading after they finished voting on the 2nd. The measure was voted today on 2nd reading at the score of 13-8 in favor of the Yes votes. They then proceed to the 3rd and final reading which also produced the same number of votes.
Voting in favor of the Reproductive Health Bill were it’s main proponents Senators Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor-Santiago along with Senators Edgardo Angara, Allan Peter Cayetano, Franklin Drilon, Francis Chiz Escudero, Teofisto Guingona III, Panfilo Lacson, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Francis Kiko Pangilinan, and Ralph Recto.
On the other hand, voting No for the bill were Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile with Senators Vicente Sotto III, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., Antonio Trillanes IV, and Manuel Villar.
At the House of Representatives
Meanwhile, at the House of Representatives, after passing the bill on 2nd reading last Thursday morning, the bill was voted again today for its 3rd and final reading. Compared to the slim margin of votes last week, pro-RH bill congressmen over-powered the antis in today’s voting. With the votes of 133-79 (Yes-No) and 7 abstentions, the House of Representatives have passed the bill on its 3rd and final reading. It will be good to note that because of the large margin on the 3rd reading it seemed that Catholic Church authorities’ threat to the legislators who will vote for the measure was just brushed aside.
With the bill’s passing on both houses of congress, it will now go through the Bicameral Conference committee where it will be consolidated. And thereafter, it will be then presented to the President for the ratification and signing into law.
What a great Christmas gift it is indeed to the advocates, supporters and proponents of this bill which divided our country. Now that it has been OK’d, the battle is not yet finished because there are still process in making its implementing rules and regulations. And of course vigilance on its implementation will still be needed it indeed it will be used for the betterment of our country and our people.