RH Bill Signed Into Law

After getting the bicam approval and ratification by both houses of Congress, the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill has been signed into law.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in a statement released Saturday, December 29, said “Republic Act No. 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, has been published online in the Official Gazette, after being signed by President Aquino on December 21, 2012.”

Valte said the law will take effect 15 days after its publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

“The passage into law of the Responsible Parenthood Act closes a highly divisive chapter of our history—a chapter borne of the convictions of those who argued for, or against this Act, whether in the legislative branch or in civil society,” she stated. “At the same time, it opens the possibility of cooperation and reconciliation among different sectors in society: engagement and dialogue characterized not by animosity, but by our collective desire to better the welfare of the Filipino people.”

The Philippine Senate and House of Representatives separately approved the RH Bill on third and final reading on December 17. After two days, it was approved by the bicameral conference committee and immediately ratified by the legislative bodies.

“This is the mark of a true democracy: one in which debate that spans all levels of society is spurred by deeply-held beliefs and values, enriching and elevating public discourse, as we all work together to find ways to improve the lives of our fellow citizens,” Valte added.