Contact Details

Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370


          Minority Leader Edcel C. Lagman underscored the need to enact soonest a comprehensive, rights-based, health-oriented and development-driven reproductive health law because “there is definitely more to family planning than pills and condoms because RH saves lives.”

          “The Church can continue on its mission to save souls but the State must pursue unhampered a program which reduces maternal and infant mortality in the secular realm.” Lagman stated.

          Lagman clarified that House Bill No. 96 on Reproductive Health and Population and Development is primarily a health measure. “It will promote maternal and infant health even as it will help prevent the deaths of thousands of mothers and babies annually,” he said.

In the Philippines, 11 mothers die daily and the lifetime risk of maternal death in the country is 1 in 140, compared to 1 in 8,000 for women in developed countries. RH advocates maintain that universal access to reproductive health information and services will help improve overall health and reduce poverty.

           “Studies by the WHO, UNDP and UNFPA confirm that correct and consistent use of contraceptives will prevent one-third of all maternal deaths,” Lagman said. He also stressed that virtually all or 98% of maternal deaths happen in developing countries like the Philippines.

           In its State of the World’s Children Report way back in 1992, the UNICEF also asserted that “family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.”

           The Albay solon explained that family planning will have a direct effect on maternal mortality by reducing the number of high-risk pregnancies. “Family planning will help women who are at a higher risk of maternal death avoid unplanned pregnancies,” he said.

           He added that the RH bill will also most definitely help lower the incidence of abortion by preventing unplanned, mistimed and unwanted pregnancies which are the ones being terminated though induced abortion. Moreover, he said that research by the Allan Guttmacher Institute shows that contraceptive use reduces abortion rates by 85%.

Office of Minority Leader Edcel C. Lagman
0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137
28 September 2010
          President Benigno Aquino III should complement his advocacy on voluntary family planning, birth spacing and contraceptive use by likewise endorsing the immediate passage of the reproductive health bill whose central idea is freedom of informed choice.
          This endorsement would fittingly cap the Aquino administration’s first 100 days and mitigate early setbacks.
          House Bill No. 96, the first of several reproductive health bills refiled in the 15th Congress, which I principally authored, guarantees “the right to make free and informed decisions” and promotes “without bias all modern natural and artificial methods of family planning that are medically safe, legal and effective”.
          The bill underscores in its Explanatory Note that “neither the State nor the Church has the authority to compel the people or the faithful what family planning method to adopt. The choice belongs to parents and couples, particularly to women who have an inherent right over their own bodies.”
          The Philippines is the only middle-income Asian country without a comprehensive reproductive health law.
The need to institutionalize by legislation a progressive reproductive health policy is imperative to counteract the vagaries and idiosyncrasies of changing administrations and leaders.
          In 2008, Millennium Development Goal No. 5 on improvement of maternal health and reduction of maternal mortality was amended to include the achievement of “universal access to reproductive health” by 2015.
          The Philippines is one of 189 signatory countries to the Millennium Declaration 10 years ago this month.
          Reproductive health and family planning are interlinked with all of the eight MDGs from the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, combating HIV-AIDS and reducing child mortality to achieving universal primary education and ensuring environmental sustainability. When the first comprehensive version of the RH bill was filed in the 11th Congress 10 years ago, the Philippine population was about 75 million. A decade later or on 01 July 2010 when House Bill No. 96 was filed, the country’s population has ballooned to 93.4 million or a staggering increase of 19.3 million or an average increase of almost two million annually.
          While the Philippines is the 12th most populous country in the world, its human development index ranking has slipped to 105th among 182 countries in the latest Human Development Report released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 2009.
          A high population growth rate of 2.04% impacts adversely on all indicators of human development like health, education, food security, employment, mass housing and the environment.


Aquino blinks, seeks talks with Church

Catholic groups plan protests backed by bishops

By Jocelyn R. Uy, Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:13:00 09/29/2010


Noy urged to endorse RH bill
By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) Updated September 29, 2010 12:00 AM



  • Office of Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
  • Tel No. 4155455
  • Mobile No. 0918-9120137
  • 24 September 2010


          While the House of Representatives is inordinately protective of its power of impeachment against perceived intrusions of the Supreme Court, it forfeits with alacrity its power of inquiry in aid of legislation purportedly in deference to the Office of the President.

          The House leadership uses two contrasting standards in resisting the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review in impeachment proceedings, on the one hand and abandoning to the Executive its primary function of conducting Congressional investigations, on the other.

          I propose that the Committee on Public Order and Safety must immediately proceed in conducting an investigation together with the Committee on Good Government on the hostage rescue fiasco which occurred on 23 August 2010.

          The proposal is contained in a letter dated 23 September 2010, one month after the hostage-taking incident, to Rep. Pablo John Garcia, Chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Safety, with copies furnished to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II.

          It should be recalled that the Committee on Public Order and Safety deferred its own investigation reportedly in deference and courtesy to the then projected investigation to be conducted by the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) as ordered by President Benigno Aquino III. The IIRC has already rendered its report, albeit without furnishing a copy to the House of Representatives.

          No less than 11 resolutions have been filed by concerned Members of the House of Representatives urging the conduct of a legislative probe on the fatal hostage-taking incident, all of which have been referred by the Committee on Rules to the Committee on Public Order and Safety.

          The House leadership cannot simply disregard and shield these resolutions reminiscent of the precipitate pigeonholing of dozens of bills proposing the postponement of the barangay elections simply because the President wanted the village polls to push through as scheduled this October.

          The House must forthwith conduct its own inquiry for the following reasons:

          1.  It is the inherent right of the House to hold investigations in aid of legislation which is not the same purpose of the inquiry conducted by the IIRC constituted by President Aquino.

2. The House has also the authority to investigate, through the Committee on Good Government, acts of malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance committed by government officials and employees.

3.  The House has not been furnished until now with the full IIRC report.

4.  The IIRC report is incomplete, inadequate and faulty even as it failed to investigate ranking members of the Cabinet who may have been responsible and accountable for the fiasco and exempted them from possible culpability.

              The House probe will not duplicate the IIRC investigation but would instead improve and amplify the same even as the principal purpose is in aid of legislation.The question is not whether the House would ultimately receive the full report but that propriety and courtesy demand that a co-equal body like the House must be given immediately the complete and unabridged report as submitted by the IIRC to the President one week ago and also by the Department of foreign Affairs to the Chinese ambassador.

  • Office of Minority Leader Edcel C. Lagman
  • 22 September 2010
  • 0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137


           No concrete assessment could be made of the IIRC Report on the hostage rescue fiasco as long as President Benigno Aquino III withholds disclosure of the more substantial portions on “Conclusions on Accountability” and “Recommendations”.

           If the President holds the major aspects of the report close to his breast longer, popular clamor for their immediate and full disclosure may burn his chest.

           But what is apparent is that the reported culprits could be classified into four sectors: (1) officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) like former Director General Jesus Verzosa, Chief Supt Rodolfo Magtibay, Chief Supt. Leocadio Santiago, Supt. Orlando Yerba,  and Senior Inspector Santiago Pascual; (2) officials of the local government of the City of Manila like Mayor Alfredo Lim and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno; (3) representatives of broadcast media and television networks; and (4) Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez and Deputy Ombudsman Emilio Gonzales III.

           The alleged culprits in the first three groups are directly under the responsibility and accountability of Secretary Jesse Robredo of the Department of the Interior and Local Government with respect to concerned police and local officials and to Secretaries Herminio Coloma and Ricky Carandang of the Presidential Communications Group with respect to broadcast media.

           The Philippine National Police and the local government units are under the jurisdiction of the DILG Secretary.

           On the other hand, media practitioners and officials claim that they would have heeded advice from Malacañang officials like Coloma and Carandang to observe caution and proper protocol on hostage taking coverage but there was neither instruction nor coordination from these top officials.

           It would be recalled that a day after the fatal hostage-taking, I led the call for the resignation of Robredo, Coloma and Carandang.

           A thorough, fair and judicious investigation report should have ensnared Robredo, Coloma and Carandang for culpable acts of omission and negligence and for failing to exercise command responsibility.

           If heads must roll, bigger heads must roll.