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1 August 2011
Today I walked into a sea of purple in the Senate Session Hall.
By this I mean the Senate Gallery was filled with supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill which I sponsored last June and which Senator Miriam Defensor- Santiago is sponsoring today. I had the chance to briefly chat with the dedicated supporters, headed by former Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department Of Health (DOH) Secretary Esperanza Cabral. They were all in good spirits and happy that we were moving forward with the RH bill.
Before Senator Santiago took the floor I had the opportunity to chat with her and we agreed that considering the scope of the RH bill it would be more orderly to divide it into three major topics. Upon her suggestion we agreed on the following subtopics:
Before session adjourned last month, as Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Demography, I delivered my sponsorship speech on the RH bill (full text of my speech). Now, it was Senator Santiago who was going to deliver her co- sponsorship speech.
What follows is a summary of Part 1 of her sponsorship speech entitled “Primacy of Conscience in Catholic Theology.”
With that Senator Santiago ended the first part of her sponsorship speech. She is ready to take on interpellations on the subject matter tomorrow.
After session ended, I joined the RH supporters who have been present since my Committee on Health commenced its discussion on RH. I thank them for their valuable contributions in crafting this bill. Among those who came and showed their support were former Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Elizabeth Angsioco of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, Red Tani of Filipino Free Thinkers, Ramon San Pascual of Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, Prof. Princess Nemenzo of Woman Health, Prof. Marichi Guevarra and Elizabeth Eviota of Ateneo de Manila University, Fe Manapat of National Anti-Poverty Commission, Dr. Junice Melgar of LIKHAAN Center for Women’s Health, Ben de Leon of the Forum for Family Planning and PopCom, Dr. Ric del Rosario who was formerly with DOH and Philippine General Hospital, and Bishop Rodrigo Tano of Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood. Also present to show their support were Heart Evangelista and former Department of Tourism Secretary and beauty queen Gemma Cruz-Araneta.
To view the full text of Senator Santiago’s co- sponsorship speech, please log on to www.miriam.com.ph