Congressmen Against Population Management Bill

By Kit Bagaipo
Bohol Chronicle

All three Bohol congressmen vowed to oppose the passage of the controversial population management bill even as the measure is gaining supporters ahead of plenary debates in the House of Representatives starting tomorrow.

While more congressmen are purportedly backing House Bill 5043, a bill seeking to enact a population control measure, Representatives Edgar Chatto (1st district), Roberto Cajes (2nd district) and Adam Relson Jala (3rd district) stood firm with their position to vote against the measure.

Chatto told the Chronicle yesterday that the three Bohol solons are all pro-life and will not support HB 5043.
"We have been consistent with our position that we are against the measure which actually weakens the fiber of moral life," Chatto stressed.

Cajes, for his part said he will definitely vote against the reproductive health bill adding that "it will not compliment sound economic policy neither will it contribute to poverty reduction."

"Self-discipline and self-control will solve most, if not all, our problems," Cajes pointed out countering the argument of the bill's proponents that over-population is interrelated with poverty.

Meanwhile, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso also renewed his call for the faithful to help lobby to lawmakers and persuade them to block the reproductive health bill.

Medroso, chair of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal
Commission on Canon Law, said the issue is a serious matter for the Church because "it is a threat to the sanctity of family and life."

HOUSE DEBATES

Vigorous debates on the proposed measure is expected during the House plenary starting tomorrow.
Yesterday, HB 5043 chief proponent and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman fired the opening salvo declaring that the Catholic Church would render itself "irrelevant" to its flock by continuously opposing the bill.

Lagman insists that an overwhelming number of Filipinos "strongly approve of the government's allocation of funds for modern contraceptives."

"If the Catholic Church wants to continue to become significant in the lives of the faithful, [it] must listen to [its] flock or risk of becoming irrelevant," he said.