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Rm. N-411, House of Representatives, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 2 931 5497, +63 2 931 5001 local 7370
(Privilege Speech delivered by REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN on 10 December 2008
on the occasion of World Human Rights Day and the
60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) unequivocally proclaimed this sixty years ago. Thus, when an infant is born, the fundamental question that we must confront is not whether the newborn is an asset or a liability, but, how we can protect his or her right to life or survival and other basic human rights so that the newborn may live in freedom and dignity.

In other words, we must assure the existence of an enabling environment where every child born can live in freedom and dignity.

The Philippines holds the distinction of being the first signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

(Delivered by REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN, Senior Vice Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, on 02 October 2008)

At no point in our recent history has the annual budget assumed a greater primacy than it has today as the world is buffeted by the following international developments of crisis proportions:

  • Continuing escalation of the prices of food and other basic commodities.
  • Fluctuating price of fuel at high levels.
  • The Wall Street financial market fiasco.
  • And possibly an even worse calamity, the rejection by the US House of Representatives of the US $700 billion bailout plan, even as it is reported today that the US Senate has approved the bailout plan which would necessitate further bicameral Congressional action.

Sponsorship Speech on House Bill 5043

“An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development”
(delivered by REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN on 16 September 2008)

House Bill No. 5043 or “An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development” should unite us, not divide us.

We are all confronted by common problems spawned by an inordinately huge population which we must collectively address, like:

  • High maternal and infant mortality;
  • Escalating incidence of abortions;
  • Growing number of malnourished and stunted children;
  • Increasing proportion of children of school-age who are out of school;
  • Serious social costs of labor migration;
  • Dearth of local employment;
  • Scarcity of food supply;
  • Inadequate mass housing; and
  • Despoliation of the environment.

We must open our minds to the import and merits of the Reproductive Health Bill and reject contrived criticisms, expose barefaced lies, refute malicious innuendoes, and resist menacing threats.

We must not fear to legislate because it is courage which is the handmaiden of a good and vital law.

This bill is not solely about pills, condoms and IUDs. Neither is it about sex, morality or religion no matter how desperately its oppositors claim it is.

It does not legalize abortion nor does it seek the legalization of abortifacients.

The bill is rights-based and does not have a demographic target. It is even a misnomer to call it a “birth control” measure.

There is no bias for or against natural or modern family planning methods because both will be promoted with equal vigor to truly assure freedom of informed choice.

The bill is principally about rights, health and sustainable human development. The bill is fully transparent. There is no hidden agenda. There are no caveats.

(Delivered by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman during the Teachers’ Day Celebration of the DepEd Tabaco City on 14 December 2007 at the Tabaco City Terrace)

When my immediate kin talk of public servants, the first person that comes to mind is my mother, Mrs. Cecilia Castelar-Lagman, a public school teacher for thirty-five long but rewarding years. Genuine public service necessarily entails devotion to duty and often even self-sacrifice. In Mama I have seen not only dedication and commitment to her job and to her students. I have also seen in her the passion and the heart which is indispensable if one is to become a real educator.

(Speech delivered by REP. EDCEL C. LAGMAN at the
2007 Oath Taking Ceremonies of Barangay Officials of the First Congressional District of Albay)

The Barangay as a political unit is the most enduring legacy of our pre-Hispanic past. As pupils we learned that the word barangay traces its roots to balangay – the small but sturdy boats that our Malay ancestors used to navigate the rough seas of the Pacific to settle in these lands.

As barangay officials, it would be best to understand the history of this unique political unit so as to better recognize its indispensability to effective local and national governance.