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A fourth committee of the House of Representatives has endorsed House Bill 5043 or the proposed “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2008” principally authored by Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman.

The Committee on Rules approved today the plenary consideration of the controversial bill which mandates government to provide information and services on all forms of family planning and allocate adequate funds for the reproductive health program.

Lagman hailed the endorsement of the bill for plenary consideration as a “victory for RH advocates who have been waiting for the enactment of this bill for almost a decade and the 96 co-authors of the measure who are unwavering in their support for the bill’s eventual enactment."

The bill was first jointly referred to the Committee on Health and Committee on Population and Family Relations which approved it in June. In August the Committee on Appropriations approved the appropriation cover of the measure.

The Albay solon said that, “the bill is not about condoms and pills and neither is it about religion. It is primarily about health and rights."

Moreover, he underscored that “reproductive health is a basic human right that government must promote and protect” and that the bill would be “an indispensable development tool given that rapid population growth impacts negatively on all aspects of human development.”