Manila Standard Today (12.18.12)
On December 17, Philippine lawmakers approved a Reproductive Health Bill, paving the way for a landmark law that will provide government funding for contraceptives and sex education in schools despite strong opposition from the Roman Catholic Church. In the House, the bill passed 133 to 79, and a similar bill was approved in the Senate 13 to 8. The bill is ready to be taken up December 18 by a bicameral conference committee that will work to reconcile the House and Senate versions. The final version will then need to be ratified by Congress on December 19 and signed by President Benigno Aquino III to become law. According to House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, the president was responsible for the final push to pass the bill and believes it will be the legacy that he leaves behind.