Golez proposes formula to end RH impasse

THERE is an emerging middle ground that may break the apparent stalemate that is delaying the controversial reproductive health bill’s passage through plenary vote at the House of Representatives.

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. today expressed his agreement with the proposal of a known anti-RH lawmaker, Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez, that the chamber create a technical working group (TWG) to be composed mostly of moderates, including representatives from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

“We have to think of some breakthrough on this impasse,” Belmonte stressed. “What is also essential is to mold the provisions of the bill as a vital poverty alleviation measure. After all, the fight against poverty is the bottom line of all our struggles today.”

Golez reportedly said that he is amenable to a TWG and that he is voluntarily desisting from participating in the TWG, being a known anti-RH hardliner.

“I appeal to all parties who have taken a hard-line position — pro or anti — like the principal authors and oppositors (members of the House), to voluntarily desist from participating in the TWG and let only the moderates participate in the TWG,” Golez said.

Belmonte agrees with Golez that this proposal “will facilitate the crafting of a good and mutually acceptable compromise bill”.

“Hardliners by experience find it extremely difficult to compromise. I agree that the CBCP should be part of the TWG. I also agree to the proposal to realign the bill as a poverty alleviation measure,” Golez said.

The said controversial measure remains unfinished business in the House plenary, under the period of amendments. Even if the measure sees the light of day, there is still the Senate, which has to undertake its own debates, revise and hopefully vote on it at a date only the senators can decide on, the Speaker said.

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