President Benigno Aquino III noted that the RH Bill has been divisive for too long and the time has come to put the matter to rest.
He urged members of Congress to address the Responsible Parenthood Bill ‘the soonest possible time.’
The President began his remarks by telling the legislators that, if he were still a member of Congress, he would vote for the RH Bill.
The President then asked how anyone ‘could oppose offering parents the opportunity to make informed choices about the number of children they have, and about having the fullest opportunity to understand the requirements for raising healthy offspring.’
The Chief Executive told the lawmakers that ‘we are taught that our conscience is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, and that at the end of the day, we will all be asked: What did you do to the least of your brethren?’
PNoy shared with the gathered congressmen and women in a luncheon meeting at Malacanang the discernment that led to his taking the position of being a pro RH bill.
The President recalled a story about a 16- year-old mother who had just given birth to her second child and whose husband had no stable source of income. The sobering realities the young lady’s plight instead of being able to have a normal adolescence, the young lady was already struggling with the truth of having two children to raise.
PNoy asked the legislators that ‘considering the circumstances surrounding the child born to such a young parent, what kind of a future would such a child have, in terms of basic needs like nutrition, and other future prospects down the line?’
The President closed his remarks by stating that ‘to do nothing is to exacerbate the problem. Our responsibility is to craft the best possible measure, to offer the best possible opportunities for our children to grow and prosper.’
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, the main author of the House version of the RH bill, said that ‘the Presidential endorsement on the RH bill was loud and clear.’
Although President Aquino did not categorically ask them to vote for the bill, ‘the president was unequivocal in saying that he would personally vote for the RH bill if he could cast a vote,’ said Lagman.