Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cong. Janette L. Garin: Her Stand on the Philippine RH Bill

A brief run through on what I can still recall from the seminar, The RH Agenda: Clearing the Controversies held last August 27, 2011 at the Philippine National Red Cross Building, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City

That while the church believes on the Malthusian theory proposed by Thomas Robert Malthus that there is no overpopulation but only a congestion of individuals in a certain area of land due to untapped resources and spaces in the Philippines, Congresswoman Janette L. Garin believes otherwise. 

A devout Catholic herself, she says that she has nothing against the Catholic church but as a concerned citizen and politician, she deems it necessary to educate the people about what the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill really is. She divulges truths, insights and misconceptions about the controversial bill that she now co-authors along with other politicians namely House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, Akbayan Representatives Kaka Bag-ao & Walden Bello, Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon, Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco [who has previously declined due to issues with the church] and Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan.

Invited by the TFN Class of the masteral program offered by the Central Philippine University (CPU) to graduate nurses, Cong. Garin began her presentation directly by discussing in depth the rationale and statistics related to the RH Bills. She states that the RH bills intend to:

  • Inform every Filipino about the different methods available for use by couples so as to lessen birth rates in the country;
  • Improve the quality of health of not only those women viable for pregnancy but also those who belong to the retirement age; and
  • Sustain human development by making the RH bill a tool in elevating the Filipinos (especially the poor) from their present state into a state where they are capable of giving their children proper and quality education and living.

According to Cong. Garin’s presentation, 4 to 5 babies are born every minute (excluding unregistered births in mountainous and far- flung areas) in the Philippines. She and other promoters of the bill strongly believe that these rates can be decreased to a minimum after the proper implementation of the proposed bill, which is having its second reading right now.

Continued growth in the population results to unwanted pregnancies and later on, abortion in many women in the Philippines. According to the Garin’s presented statistics, which she had taken from the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI):

Her Insights on Contraception and Abortion
Garin and other supporters of the bill believe that there is nothing wrong about using contraceptives. However before delving into the matter, it would be helpful to define related topics such as fertilizationconception and abortion first.

She repeatedly stated that nobody can give a clear and definite answer as to the ‘real’ definition of how and when life begins.

In her presentation, she said life begins when fertilization exists and that fertilization is the meeting of the egg and the sperm. Conception takes place thereafter and abortion is only committed once a pregnancy is stopped especially after an egg has been implanted in the uterus.

These were a few of the many things [other than those mentioned above] I learned through the seminar:
  • Sex education is not compulsory among all children. Children are made to take home slips which will then be filled up by their parents regarding whether or not they are allowing their children to be subject to the education.
  • Sex education will begin starting Grade 6 up to high school.
  • Children are subtly made to be aware of the physiologic changes that come along as they age and taught things such as to keep these changes 'untouched' by other individuals. This not only promotes sex education but prevents abuse of any form as well.

Receiving her plaque of appreciation


  1. First of all, it is not enough to determine only the size of the population to say whether a place is overpopulated or not. Garin should have presented our population density (which is a lot lower compared to other countries that are prosperous). She should have presented the total fertility rate in our country, which is actually going down decade after decade. She should also have presented the population growth rate, which, by the way, is also going down. Using only the population size as basis to conclude that the Philippines is overpopulated makes her claim really weak.

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  3. Hello, Ms Anna Cosio! I must be honest with you. I think Cong. Garin has a point. You have a point, as well as our parish priest who keeps on campaigning against the RH Bill. I do not know much of this RH Bill. I only learn through ads, talks on tv, leaflets and other stuff.

    When I hear our parish priest preach, I feel his sentiments and would like to favor those against the bill but after hearing Cong. Garin's presentation, I feel that she's got a point and her stats come from UP, making it very reliable.

    I'm confused and if you could give me more insights as to the pros and cons of this probable bill, I will very much appreciate it.



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