Sunday, February 16, 2014

Drilon: SC verdict on RH law "urgently needed"

MANILA-Senate President Franklin M. Drilon urged the Supreme Court to finally render a judgment on the Reproductive Health Act case, arguing that the prolonged debacle on the law has“stymied government efforts addressing the need for much-needed maternal and infant care throughout the nation.”  

“More than 14 months since the historic passage of the reproductive health law, the government’s hands are still tied when it comes to attending fully to the needs for maternal care of millions of mothers, most especially those living in the far-flung areas who barely had access to health services,” said Drilon.  

The Senate chief said the highest court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the law “is vital in freeing the government to act on maternal deaths and other health complications affecting women, wives and mothers in the country.”

“The implementation of the RH law has been hanged in a state of limbo pending a court decision, leaving the government temporarily incapacitated on its legitimate goal of removing the stumbling blocks to providing maximum maternal and infant care throughout the country,” Drilon explained.

He noted that addressing maternal deaths is a commitment under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, where the country is woefully lagging behind.

“Whatever the verdict of the Supreme Court, only then will be the government freed to either continue with the RH law, or proceed to formulate another national policy on this issue,” he then added.

However, Drilon said that as he is calling for increased decisiveness by the high court, he also concurs on the issue with fellow Congressional leaders, such as House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., who had earlier called on the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the RH law.

“The fact that the RH bill underwent more than thirteen years’ worth of debates, studies and consultations before it was approved is an undeniable proof that its passage went through an arduous and highly-publicized process, where it was subjected to the full rigors of the Philippine legislative system, and where all views –whether for or against its passage- were fully observed and taken into account,” Drilon said.
The RH Law was passed by the 15thCongress in December 2012, and at the same month was signed into law by President Aquino. However, its constitutionality was brought to the Supreme Court, who in March 2013 issued a status quo ante order against the law. 


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