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MANILA, Philippines - About 140 lawmakers will vote against the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
This was according to the survey conducted by Catholic prelates in their different dioceses before President Benigno Aquino III held his State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“This survey ended this July. Out of the 85 dioceses in the Philippines, 77 (bishops) answered. In this 77 dioceses, 215 congressmen were surveyed by the bishops themselves and out of that number, 49 will vote yes to the RH bill, 140 will vote no, and 36 are undecided,” Antipolo Bishop Gabriel Reyes, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL), said in a church-organized forum in Manila Tuesday.
He hopes that the lawmakers will not change their minds on their opposition on the measure.
“We are very happy about that. We just hope they (anti-RH lawmakers) won’t change their stand,” Reyes said.
On the other hand, CBCP president Archbishop Jose Palma said they were looking to get more support from the legislators on reports that the House minority block already withdrew their support for the bill.
“We expect something like that with the passing of time. Initially, with the passing of time and with more and more sharing, discussions or fora and with reports coming from many places in the world---but we have a broader perspective of what’s happening all over the world and therefore it also becomes a basis for their assessment and decision,” the Cebu prelate said.
On Monday, Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, said that they were withdrawing their support for House Bill (HB) 4244, or the proposed “Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development.”
On Aug. 4, the Catholic Church will be holding a prayer rally against the measure in Manila and Cebu.
Meanwhile, Father Melvin Castro urged the faithful to participate in the event, which is slated on Saturday to show the sentiments of the people against the bill.
"Let us show our opposition to this RH bill. Let us go to Edsa Shrine and pray,” he said.
The House of Representatives are set to vote on either terminating or continuing the period of debates on the RH Bill on Aug. 7.