Press Release
May 23, 2011


Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, author of the Senate reproductive health bill, said that the Senate debates on the controversial bill will most probably start in August.

"The Senate has only two weeks of session left, and even if we deliver the sponsorship speeches, we still have to adjourn sine die by June 9. In all probability, the debates will begin when session resumes after the state-of-the-nation address by Pres. Aquino at the end of July," she said.

Santiago also said that she has no objection if the Senate health committee chaired by Sen. Pia Cayetano will convene again, just to hold a public hearing on the "unborn child" bills filed only recently by anti-RH senators.

"We should proceed with all deliberate speed, because if we do not grant the oppositors a public hearing, they might resort to procedural technicalities which would delay the plenary debate," she said.

Santiago said that the RH bill in the House of Representatives seems to be headed for a win.

"If the RH bill is passed in the House, the political momentum will be carried over to the Senate. The senators will realize that the surveys are correct, and that the majority of the public support RH as part of every individual's freedom of conscience," she said.

On the other hand, the senator said that if the RH bill is defeated in the House, then it would be pointless to debate it in the Senate.

"We are willing to pass all possible hurdles placed in our way, because we are confident of final victory," she said.

In the House, "unborn child" bills were the subject of one committee hearing, but are not included in the ongoing RH debates.

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