DAVAO CITY – President Aquino has found another ally in his stance to pass the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill into law.
Vice Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, Aquino’s staunch supporter in this city during the May 10 national and local elections, defended the President in his determination to push for the controversial reproductive bill despite pressures from Catholic Church to repeal the said legislation.
“The state is not empowered by any law to dictate upon any couple how they should plan for their family. But the government has an obligation to educate its citizens,” Duterte said during his weekly public affairs program aired on local television.
Before the elections, the city has passed its own reproductive health ordinance that seeks to create a health clinic that would provide services specifically for women and parents who would like to plan for their family.
Local legislators who voted for the ordinance were threatened to be ex-communicated.
But this time, the former mayor who now presides the City Council said he is ready to be ex-communicated on the basis of his position.
“Women must be given their choice because it’s their body and it is about time that we control the population. And to me, population control is not abortion because you just prevent the contraception – and that’s it,” he explained.
During his campaign, President Aquino said that in the next 10 years, there would be a skyrocketing of basic commodities such as education and food.
He cited that in 1996, the population in the country was around 50 million.
“In the recent years, it has reached about 90 million and by that time, basic commodities such as education and food will have to increase,” he said.
The reproductive bill in the country drew flak among faith-based organizations for its key proposal that state funds would be used to subsidize artificial family planning methods where groups say it merely liberates promiscuity.
Mick Basa, Manila Bulletin