RH bill's passage urged anew as country welcomes 7 billionth baby

11/02/2011 - PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III should endorse the highly-divisive reproductive health (RH) bill if the government wants to provide a better future for Danica May Camacho, the Philippines' symbolic seven-billionth baby born earlier this week, a member of Congress said.

Alyansa ng mga Grupo ng Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya para sa Mamamayan (Agham) party-list Representative Angelo Palmones said Aquino’s endorsement will convince the majority bloc at the House of Representatives to fast track the approval of the RH bill.

House Bill 4244, which will provide families access to RH services, remains pending for second reading approval.

"Both the Senate and the House of Representatives must speed up the passage of the RH bill within 2011. President Aquino's endorsement of the bill to LP (Liberal Party) members will ensure its enactment," said Palmones.

He said that an RH law could be President Aquino's "greatest legacy for maternal care."

Sulu Representative Nur-ana Sahidulla, also a co-author of the RH bill, said the measure will solve the effects of the country’s booming population, which has been estimated to have reached more than 90 million.

"(The) RH bill should be passed here at the House of Representatives. This will be the best solution," Sahidulla said.

The Department of Health welcomed the Philippines' seven billionth symbolic baby at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Medical Center in Sta. Cruz, Manila Sunday midnight.

Danica May was the second child of Camille Galura and Florante Camacho.

Deputy Minority Leader and Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay, for her part, said the country’s huge population should not be seen as a problem as long as the government "implements good programs and policies which can help people get the proper education and skills to make them marketable for employment".

"The government should put the necessary infrastructure to attract investors. With both ingredients being the 12th most populous has no effect at all," she noted. (Sun Star)

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