RH bets not gender nor party-based –study

RH bets not gender nor party-based –study

by Camille Diola on March 23, 2011 - 9:48 am

Legislators’ decisions to express or refuse support for the Senate and Congress versions of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill do not depend on their gender nor political parties, according to a preliminary study presented in a press conference last Friday.

University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) history instructor Danica Elaine Ang whose paper explored the vote choice, patterns and interests of Philippine lawmakers on the RH issue said that the majority of both male and female legislators remain neutral about the passage of the controversial bill.

Danica Elaine Ang, Hotel Rembrandt, March 18

Only 29 percent of the male legislators have been identified to be supportive of the bill, while 36 percent of female solons endorse it, said Ang, who was recently honored by Time Magazine for her essay on human capital development.

The study also indicates that party affiliations of House representatives and senators do not necessarily determine their stand on the RH issue, contrary to the notion that individuals belonging to the same political groups tend to adapt similar and consistent ideologies.

In tracing the history of the Reproductive Health agenda in Congress since 1999, Ang and her student researchers found that external interests may have influenced legislators’ RH commitments.

Among such motives Ang identified are foreign-led agenda such as the United Nations’ Declaration on Population signed by President Marcos in 1967, the Millennium Development Goals to be reached by 2015 and bilateral relations between the country and the United States.

Significant foreign aid the that Philippines receives from the US, a promoter of global population control, may also be a motive to pass a definitive demographic management policy such as the RH Bill, the study postulates.

Ang, however, clarified that the study is exploratory and is due to be further developed. #

Photo by Mel E Maranan
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