Thursday, October 20, 2011

How well the RH Bill will be executed or complied with is an issue that becomes relevant down the track @paulfarol

I agree with what @paulfarol says about the blanket presumption surrounding the proposed reproductive health services articulated in the RH Bill(s) being debated in Congress which he summarised thus...
RH services will 'lead' to better health for women and children, encourage 'ideal' family size - which can be 2 or more.

Which puts a caveat on the the notion that passing the RH Bill will necessarily induce reduction in population growth rates (which, personally, I think is the whole point of passing such a law in a Third World country like the Philippines where every baby born subtracts rather than adds value to the economy).

However (and I might be mistaken in my interpretation here), the following, it seems, are the main pillars of Paul's argument that the RH Bill should not be passed (considering the provisions supposedly contained in it that paves the way for government procurement of contraceptive devices and the dole out of these to the Filipino multitude)...

it basically assumes an optimistic view of cde demographic and the govt system to deliver services

...and here:
No assurances or guarantees for the uptake of RH prods and services. Ergo, no guarantees for population reduction. Just faith.

My view here is that all laws are framed on the basis of optimistic or idealised presumption that said laws will be abided by and executed properly once they are enacted. Though legislators may take every measure within their capacities to minimise loopholes that can be exploited or ambiguities that can be abused, compliance to these laws fall outside of their scope of concerns.

Whether the public abides by these laws and whether the government agencies tasked with executing these laws apply them in the spirit of what they were originally intended for is more a concern of the Executive and Judicial branches of government.

As such, worrying about whether the RH Bill will be complied with and executed properly is not much a concern now as it is later on when it becomes a matter of enforcement and executive oversight.


  1. Good point. Though I'd still say that as far as this bill is concerned, the legislators have not done nearly enough to address ambiguities and loopholes.

  2. A tighter bill will ensure a better chance at good implementation, or at least, that's how i'd like to think.

  3. Benigs.. I guess the question I have in my mind is, can the government and the people be trusted to implement this proposed law without screwing it up?

  4. Probably not.

    But the point I'd like to make is that whether they can be trusted to implement the law properly or not is less an issue of legislation and more an issue of execution and enforcement. So if the law is reasonably sound in the context of a presumption that it will be enacted in what in this day and age should be a typically modern society of educated and law-abiding citizens, then it should be supported.

    It's like this accounting principle called "continuing concern" (or something like to that effect). An accountant's job is to manage the ledger and report results under the presumption that the enterprise is to continue trading indefinitely. Dealing with the *actual* environment that serves as the context for interpreting the financial results is someone else's job.

  5. I guess the presumption could be wrong too and we'd have a law that actually gets abused or circumvented. Right?

    And we do have a pretty long record of that happening.

    So, do we tool it up or do we assume that the current set of laws already addressing various concerns are already sufficient?

  6. I'm starting to incline more towards the view that Filipinos already have enough liberties to decide on their own what is best for themselves within the existing legal framework, and it is really more about getting the right messages to them -- the sort that will give them the right frame of mind to be more responsible for their own futures.

  7. If lawmakers should presume a bill will be implemented and enforced according to normative conditions (and that makes sense to me), then those normative conditions should be fairly easy to describe, and the bill written with specific reference (explicitly, or clearly implied) to them. I don't think that's been done with this bill.

    For example, the difference between the 1:150 ratio of maternity attendants specified in the bill and the better ratio that already exists in practice in some places, which I highlighted in my critique of the bill. A simple solution would be to specify that an LGU cannot reduce manpower if it already exceeds the bill's 1:150 requirement. As it is now, some places (like Cavite) could do so and still be completely compliant with the law. There are several avoidable oversights like that in it.


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