Questions of quorum, dress code stall RH bill debates in House

It took the House of Representatives two hours to finally start discussions on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill on Tuesday afternoon after lawmakers opposing the measure raised the need to check attendance and delivered a privilege speech supposedly to “delay" the debates.

Just minutes after the sessions opened, Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, who opposes the RH bill, questioned the presence of a quorum on the House floor, obliging the lower chamber’s secretary-general to do a roll call of the names of all 283 lawmakers.

After it was established that 203 House members were present, Bagatsing put forth a motion to raise a question of privilege, prompting the lower chamber’s leadership to allow him to deliver a privilege speech on his supposed graft case before the Office of the Ombudsman.

After taking up almost half an hour delivering his speech, Bagatsing asked for additional minutes to speak. Another anti-RH bill congressman, Northern Samar Rep. Raul Daza, suggested that House members nominally vote on Bagatsing’s request, which will allow each lawmaker to explain his or her vote.

Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, one of the proponents of the RH bill, then stood up and said Daza could not make such a proposal, since he is not even in proper attire.

“These are obviously delaying tactics. Why can’t we just go on and proceed with the discussions?" she told reporters at the sidelines of the House plenary on Tuesday.

After House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. talked to both parties during a short recess, proponents of the bill were finally allowed to deliver their sponsorship speeches.

As of posting time, House population committee chairperson Rep. Rogelio Espina and the bill’s main proponent Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman have already delivered their speeches.

Garin, Akbayan party-list Reps. Arlene Bag-ao and Walden Bello, Muntinlupa City Rep. Rodolfo Biazon, Iloilo Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. and Gabriela party-list Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emerenciana de Jesus are also scheduled to speak at the House plenary.

The session hall gallery was jampacked with students, members of religious groups and RH bill advocates who witnessed the initial deliberations on the controversial measure.

Health secretary Enrique Ona and other officials from the Department of Health, as well as the Population Committee, were also present in the gallery.—JV, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options