RH BILL ISSUE: NOY DOWNPLAYS IMPEACHMENT THREATS
MANILA, DECEMBER 5, 2010 (STAR) By Aurea Calica - President Aquino brushed aside impeachment threats in supporting measures on reproductive health.
Aquino said the government is mandated to push for responsible parenthood and protect the Filipino family.
He maintained that parents must ensure that the children’s well being would be wholly attended to and that they would get the proper education and health care.
Aquino made the statement in reaction to reports that some members of Congress are threatening to initiate impeachment proceedings against him if he continues supporting the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
The RH bill is still pending approval before Congress.
“I don’t recall that pushing for responsible parenthood is an impeachable offense,” Aquino told an interview Friday in Gerona, Tarlac.
Aquino said 40 percent of Filipinos could not even avail of the services of healthcare professionals.
“The government is tasked to provide solutions to health care, education and other problems besetting the country,” he stressed.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte added Malacañang would push for responsible parenthood amid the reported cut in the 2011 budget for contraceptives.
“We’ve always said that we are for responsible parenthood and whatever the decisions of the parents would be (we would support). Whatever methods they want to use, we will help them implement and use that,” Valte said over radio station dzRB.
Valte, however, said practicing responsible parenthood would not only involve the use of contraceptives because “there are many other methods.”
“So we will work with what we have,” she said.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III on Friday said senators slashed the Department of Health’s budget for contraceptives, which would be distributed to poor families in 2011.
The P880 million proposed allocation for the DOH’s “family health” program was slashed to a mere P8 million.
Sotto said the senators decided to use much of the P872 million that was chopped off from the original DOH proposal to upgrade the budget for state universities and colleges (SUCs).
The amount will also go to programs such as scholarships in science and technology institutes.
In deciding to keep the P8 million, senators were specific that the allocation should be for purchase of condoms only.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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