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Senator Pia Cayetano has branded as "irresponsible and a delaying tactic" the possible postponement of the deliberations on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill in the Senate.
"The people deserve a working Senate. To delay the voting is simply irresponsible and clearly a delaying tactic," Cayetano, RH bill co-sponsor, said in a statement released Monday.
She issued her statement after Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said in a radio interview on Sunday that given congressional breaks and the upcoming elections, the period of amendments on the RH bill may be moved to June next year.
The period of amendments was supposed to follow Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III's three-part Turno En Contra against the RH bill. Sotto is expected deliver the third part on Wednesday.
“We [do not mean] to delay [but] we all have the right to present amendments, unless they want to vote us out to stop the amendments,” Enrile said in the same radio interview.
Enrile said he will move for the deletion of a provision declaring contraceptives as essential medicine.
“You know, pinakamaselan at pinakadelikadong bill ngayon ang RH bill na pumasok sa buhay ng bansang ito. You will control the size of our population because the bill itself is a population control bill,” he said.
But Cayetano, who chairs the Senate committee on health and demography, said they only need a few session days for the period of amendments.
"They're trying to condition the public that there's no time to finish [the] RH bill," she said.
"Whether you are pro-RH bill or anti-RH, wouldn't you want your Senate to work and vote on this? Delaying a bill is so old politics," she added. — Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ, GMA News