The RH Status Today

What is a Bill?

      A proposed law is called a bill. The constitution requires that every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one (1) subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof (Sec. 26, par. 1).

The procedure in the approval of bills is briefly as follows:

     A bill is introduced by any member of the House of representatives of the Senate except for some measures that must originate only in the former chamber.
     The (1) first reading involves only a reading. of the number and the title of the measure and its (2) referral by the Senate President or the Speaker to the proper committee for study.
     The bill may be 'killed' in committee or it may be recommended for approval, with or without amendments, sometimes after public  hearings are first held thereon. If there are other bills of the same nature or purpose, they may all be consolidated into one bill under common authorship or as a committee bill.
     Once reported out, the bill shall be calendared for (3) second reading. It is at that stage that the bill is read its entirety, scrutinized, (4) debated upon and amended when desired. The second reading is the most important stage in the passage of a bill.
     The bill as approved on second reading is (5) *notation* printed in its final form and copies thereof are (6) distributed at least three days before the third reading. On (7) third reading, the members merely register their (8) votes and explain them if they are allowed by the rules. No further debates are allowed.
     Once the bill passed third reading, it is sent to the (9) other chamber, where it will also undergo the three readings. If also approved by the second chamber, it will then be (10) submitted to the President for his consideration.
     The bill is enrolled when printed as finally approved by the Congress, thereafter authenticated with the signatures of the Senate President or the Speaker and the Secretary, and approved by the President.

Three methods by which a bill may become a law:

  1. when the President approves the bill by signing it
  2. when the President vetoes it but the veto is overriden by 2/3 vote of all the members of each chamber
  3. when the President does not act upon the bill withing 30 days after the date of receipt thereof, in which case it shall become a law as if he had signed it.
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RH Bill STATUS

Jan 31, 2011: Unanimously approved by the House Committee on Population and Family Relations. Submitted to the House Committee on Appropriations for comment.
Feb. 16, 2011: Endorsed with amendment 20-3 by the House Committee on Appropriations.
Feb 22, 2011: Approved by House Committee on Rules
March 8, 2011: Plenary session began. Bill currently being debated in plenary.
May 30, 2011: 219 CONGRESSMEN constitute today's quorum. privilege hour declared
June 6, 2011: The Senate's version of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill has been sponsored on the floor 2 days before the first regular session of the 15th Congress ends.
June 8, 2011: The House of Representatives (HoR) adjourned its first regular session on Wednesday without finishing discussions over the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
July 25, 2011: Discussions are also expected to heat up at the Senate when Congress resumes session
August 6, Monday, 6:00 pm:  Nationwide simultaneous candle lighting and noise barrage for RH Bill:
We urge you to organize vigils, candle lightings and noise barrages in your respective areas.
In Manila, at the South wing gate of the House of Representatives (HOR), RH leaders and personalities will hold a series of activities from 1:00 pm – 7:30 pm, with a candle lighting and noise barrage at 6:00 pm as the main program.
August 7, Tuesday:  Plenary session to vote to stop the period of interpellations on the RH Bill:
9:00 am to 2:00 pm – Program at the South wing gate
4:00 pm – Plenary session to vote to stop the period of interpellation on the RH Bill, Main Building, House of Representatives

Later Steps

     After the chamber approves the measure, it will submit the bill to the Senate for consideration. The Senate can either pass its own version of the bill or adopt the bill passed by the House. Next the bicameral conference committee will be convened to reconcile the respective versions of the House and Senate. Once the bicameral committee approves the bill, it will be returned to the House and Senate for approval on third reading.
    It will then be submitted to Malacañang for the signature of the President.

Current Support and Opposition

     There are 287 members of House of Representatives, made up of 230 congressional District Representatives and 57 Party List Representatives. 190 members of the House have identified their stand on the RH Bill, with 41.3% (110 members) supportive of its passage, and 18.8% (50 members) against the Bill. Thirty (11.3%) have a neutral stance on the issue, while 76 (28.5%) are undecided.
In the Senate, 14 Senators have declared support for the RH Bill. Four senators – Sen. Teofisto Guingona, Sen. Manny Villar, Sen. Ralph Recto and Sen. Tito Sotto –are against the bill.

Do you want the RH Bill become a law? Take a stand. Vote.


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