I listened to an entertaining—but not necessarily educational—debate about one of the Philippines' hotly discussed topics these months known as the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008 or simply, the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
Pro-RH Bill Rep. Rissa Hontiveros Baraquel and anti-RH Bill Sec. Lito Atienza Jr. belted their best wisdom on whether the country needs to pass this Bill as a Law in a debate at DZMM.
During the afternoon debate, there was a question by Atienza if the RH Bill can answer the economic problems of the country. I think the humorous former Manila mayor failed to recognize that with or without the Bill, the economic problems stem from so many causes, one of which is government corruption.
It seems to me that the entire one-hour debate was more of a circus of issues thrown at the other side than having the listeners learn the political, health, and social impacts of the proposed Bill. In the end, I learned nothing new. It was a frustrating and disappointing exchange. Atienza failed to inject new ideas and threw jokes instead just to gain ground. Baraquel, in fairness, answered the issues correctly but I know she can do better next time.
Personally, I would rather listen to non-political figures and authorities discussing this important topic because many politicians are known to be self-promoting and are not trusted by many people.
Here is what some Filipinos have to say about the entertaining debate lifted from DZMM Facebook Page.
Alejandro Sausa: Atienza knows very well that the problem of the country is corruption because he is one of those who corrupted the nation. [Alam na alam ni Atienza na corruption and problema ng bayan dahil isa siya sa nag corrupt sa bayan.]
Noize Zapata: Hurray for Lito! You are right, corruption is our problem. Hurray for Lito. How much did you profit from the DENR? Oh no. [mabuhay ka lito! Tama ka, korapsyon ang problema ng bayan... Mabuhay ka lito.. Magkano ba ang kinita natin sa denr? Ay nako...]
Atienza speaks well. Why don't you orphan those children roaming around Manila who were abandoned by their parents and whose hobbies are just to propagate. Sigh, the RH Bill need to be scrutinized and analyzed carefully. Pass those that are necessary and reject those that will not help the majority. [ang galing magsalita ni atienza, ampunin nyo na lang ung mga batang nagkalat sa maynila na napabayaan ng magulang, hobby kasi ng mga mahihirap ang gumawa ng bata...ay nako, dapat ilatag at himayin ang napapaloob sa rh bill,ipasa ung mga dapat at d aprobahan ang di sang ayon sa nakakarami..]
Meliton Cuaycong Añano: Jing Castañeda, please tell Mayor Atienza that if he were against abortion, why did he not banish all those vendors in Quiapo Church selling abortifacients when he was in power... which is still the problem of the incumbent mayor. [jing castañeda pakisabi kay mayor atienza na kung kontra siya sa abortion bakit yung mga nagtitinda ng pampalaglag diyan sa quiapo church eh di niya inalis noong nakaupo siyang mayor ng maynila.........at hanggang ngayon eh problema pa rin ng mayor ngayon.......]
Michael Obrero: Is the government going to impose the RH bill once enacted into law on companies whose owners' beliefs are against it and sex education on private schools notably catholic schools who are against the same? Isn't the latter an act of transgression of government over religion?
Mechaela Nica Basada: I still believe that overpopulation is not the problem of this country but the never ending corruption that is.! Besides, the country will not benefit from this bill. We are only making the Western contraceptive manufacturers. They are the ones becoming rich. [pinayayaman lamang natin ang mga western na nagmamanufacture ng mga contraceptives. sila lang ang yayaman.]
Antoniette Tubale: We should focus on fighting corruption in the government, which is the main reason why there are so many poor people. RH Bill is not the solution. [Dapat na mas bigyan ng pansin kung paano masugpo ang kurapsyon sa ating gobyerno kasi yun ang higit na pinagkakaugatan kung bakit madaming tao ang naghihirap.hindi rh bill ang solusyon.]
Mar P. San Pedro: Riza Hontiveros you're wrong, RH bill won't solve poverty. Atienza, your political inclination sucks, even on your previous positions, but I support your anti-RH stand together with the Catholic Church.