Filipino Freethinkers calls on Filipinos to contact their representatives in Congress to be present on August 7, when the House of Representatives votes to end debate on the Reproductive Health Bill (HB 4244). It is likely that many opposing congressmen will skip work on that day in order to avoid quorum and prevent any congressional procedures. If the period of sponsorship and debate ends on August 7, the bill will enter the period of amendments and, eventually, it will be voted on for third reading before final passage.
The following is a letter sent to the office of Congressman Vincent Crisologo via their online form on the Philippine House of Representatives Website.
Dear Hon. Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo,
After over a decade of delays, the RH Bill is finally up for voting to end interpellations this August 7. I am aware of your staunch opposition to the bill. Given your religious background, this is not at all surprising. At this time, all arguments for and against the bill have already been exhausted and any intellectually honest person would have already supported the RH Bill by now.
Because of your continued opposition, I am resigned to your unwavering objection to a bill that would save thousands of people from death and millions from inhumane conditions—people with interests you disregard solely due to your personal religious convictions. I will not try to convince you to support the bill. However, your convictions, I must stress, are not shared by the constituency you were elected to represent. Your constituency, by and large, is more concerned about the suffering and abject poverty forced upon them by your personal denial of their right to family planning choices.
As your constituent in the first district of Quezon City and as a citizen who pays for your wages in taxes, I urge you to at least be present when the RH Bill comes to a vote for the end of interpellations on August 7. This is your duty as a public official. Hardworking taxpayers pay you and expect you to do your job and report for work. This is the bare minimum any employer expects from their employees. You are a representative of the City—not of your Church and not of your personal interests.
If you still believe that the RH Bill should be defeated, then defeat it by democratic means and vote against it. But, please, refrain from further participating in the decade-long delaying tactics. Be present at your job on August 7. You owe your attendance to every citizen of Quezon City.