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RH Bill Deception: Congress Retains Punitive Provisions Vs Employers, ‘Malicious Disinformation’

August 13, 2012

It turns out that President Aquino is willing to appease the Catholic Church just to guarantee the passage of the controversial Reproductive Health bill. The President and his minions in Congress were willing to delete and modify some of the proposal’s ‘religiously controversial provisions’ to guarantee the “universal basic human right to reproductive health by all persons”. However, there are certain aspects that our neo-Malthusian politicians would like to see retained: the punitive provisions against employers and acts constituting ‘malicious disinformation’.

Over a year ago, the bill’s proponents in Congress manifested their willingness to make a compromise by removing/deleting some of their proposal’s contentious provisions. For example, Section 21 on “Employers’ Responsibilities” was entirely deleted on the reason that “this provision is a restatement and amplification of the existing Art 134 of the Labor Code.” One of the Prohibited Acts under Section 28(e) was also deleted because this infringes on the freedom of expression. The deleted provision penalizes “any person who maliciously engages in the disinformation about the intent and provisions of this act.”

However, these deletions were only very temporary, as the bill’s proponents recently demanded their permanent reinstatement. It appears that the entire RH bill camp were simply trying to fool us.

The latest version of the bill shows that those deleted provisions would again form part of the anti-population measure. Other provisions that were reinstated include Section 20 on the “Ideal Family Size” and the wording on Section 13 demanding that barangay health workers and volunteers “be capacitated to give priority to family planning work”.

The reinstated provisions means that many of my previous anti-RH bill blogs remain valid, updated and relevant.

On the issue of Employers Responsibilities under Section 21. 

The bill defines employer as “any natural or juridical person who hires the services of a worker. The term shall not include any labor organization or any of its officers or agents except when acting as an employer.” 

The bill’s provisions against employers are as follows:

SEC. 21. Employers’ Responsibilities. – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall ensure that employers respect the reproductive rights of workers. Consistent with the intent of Article 134 of the Labor Code, employers with more than two hundred (200) employees shall provide reproductive health services to all employees in their own respective health facilities. Those with less than two hundred (200) workers shall enter into partnerships with hospitals, health facilities, or health professionals in their areas for the delivery of reproductive health services.

Employers shall furnish in writing the following information to all employees and applicants:

(a) The medical and health benefits which workers are entitled to, including maternity and paternity leave benefits and the availability of family planning services;
(b) The reproductive health hazards associated with work, including those that may affect their reproductive functions especially pregnant women; and
(c) The availability of health care facilities for workers.

Employers are obliged to monitor pregnant working employees among their workforce and ensure that they are provided paid half-day prenatal medical leave for each month of pregnancy period that the pregnant employee is employed in their company or organization. These paid prenatal medical leave shall be reimbursable from the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), as the case may be.] 2

(Take note: this amendment was proposed by the President and the bill’s authors. )

The Labor Code authorizes the government to prescribe certain criteria, qualification and conditions of employment of health care personnel employed.

Article 160 of the Labour Code authorizes the government to prescribe the qualifications, criteria and conditions of employment of health care personnel thus employed, making it possible for it to deny employment to conscientious objectors. Article 157 of the Code requires employers with more than 50 and fewer than 200 workers to make available free medical and dental facilities, including the service of a registered nurse if the employer’s workplace is considered hazardous.  Employers or companies that maintain 200 and fewer than 300 employees are required to employ a full time registered nurse, a part-time physician and dentist and an emergency clinic.  Employers that maintain more than 300 workers/employees are requited to make available the services of a full-time physician, full-time registered nurse and dentist, and provide an emergency hospital with one bed for every 100 employees.  Also, Article 158 states that employers may contract with a nearby hospital/clinic to provide comparable services.

I stated in a previous blog:

So once the fascist bill is approved, any potential or aspiring employer would be covered by it, which means that he/she would be legally regarded as an indirect government employee. The employers or companies who have the capacity (with more than 200 employees) would be mandated by law to “provide reproductive health services to all employees in their own respective health facilities.” This provision means that those employers and companies with more than 200 employees need to have their own “health facilities”, and this means additional expenses on the part of job-creators. On the other hand, employers with less than 200 employees shall enter into “partnerships with hospitals, health facilities, and/or health professionals in their areas for the delivery of reproductive health services.” Logic tells us that since employers and companies would be legally required to shoulder additional expenses, then they are justified to increase the prices of their products and/or services. Does anyone think of PRICE CONTROL?

From this blog post:

Once the RH bill is approved, anyone who thinks of starting a business, whether big or small, should consider the measure’s punitive provisions, some necessary expenses, and the need to deal with government regulators. In the United States, hundreds companies left the Democratic-infested California because of the state’s too much regulations and anti-business policies. This is why I have been telling my blog readers that the bill is NOT simply about serving the alleged interests of the poor and women; it is PRIMARILY about MORE GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. The bill is about nanny statism or BIG GOVERNMENT. Already, many foreign investors do not want to invest in the Philippines because of its high tax rates, excessive economic regulations, pro-employee labor courts, leftist-activist court justices, among others. The Doingbusiness.org recently ranked  Philippines 148th in terms of ease in doing business and 156th in terms of starting business. In terms of paying taxes, the country has been ranked 124th. Corporations pay a total tax rate (% profit) of 45.8 percent!

Should they pass this bill, it would have the following effects:

  • Employers would be forced to lay off or even fire employees;
  • Employers and doctors would be regarded as potential criminals;
  • Employers would not hire more people to avoid RH care spending mandated by the bill;
  • There would be mass exodus of doctors and health care providers;
  • Both local and foreign investors would be discouraged to invest in RP;
  • There would be massive job loss;
  • The Philippines would become one of the unfriendliest countries to business (plus consider the possible passage of the Antitrust bill).
  • Some people would be penalized for what the bill calls “malicious disinformation”;
  • There would be massive medical brain drain and exodus of businessmen and professionals.

The RH bill would also have the following negative impacts on small business:

  1. It would be more difficult to start a new business considering the fact the the bill criminalizes the mere act of doing business and its regulative, interventionist provisions.
  2. Employers would be forced to make additional expenses so to cover the RH care needs of their employees.
  3. Since they are forced to make additional expenses, they might consider laying off some of their workers for survival.
  4. Since they are forced to shell out additional expenses, they might not accept new applicants, a situation that would worsen the country’s unemployment rate.
  5. Since they are forced to shell out additional expenses, they might consider some of the following survival measure: 1) salary cut, 2) less bonus or benefits, 3) cost cutting, 4) no expansion, 5) close business.
  6. Since they are forced to shell out additional expenses, they might consider PRICE INCREASE.
  7. There would be more informal sectors (unlisted, unregistered businesses) so to avoid paying more taxes and complying with government regulations.
  8. Potential and existing employers would be considered a NEW CLASS OF CRIMINALS or ENEMY OF SOCIAL JUSTICE.
  9. Those who have the money and resources would rather invest in a business-friendly economic environment like Hong Kong, India and other Asian countries.
  10. Employers would simply shrug.

On the issue of ‘malicious disinformation’. 

The primary question is: How do the bill’s proponents define ‘malicious disinformation’, which is clearly in contravention with our right to free speech.

I stated in a previous blog:

This RH bill is no doubt a fascist bill! This is the only bill that penalizes any person for engaging in “disinformation.” This is worse than the defunct Anti-Subversion law implemented during the reign of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. For merely engaging in disinformation regarding the intent of this bill, any person may be held liable. What constitutes “malicious disinformation” and why is it punishable by this would-be special law? “Malicious disinformation” is clearly a by-product of political correctness. This proposed crime under the RH bill is akin to politically correct crimes, such as “hate crime”, “racism”, “discrimination”, etc. What is the definition of “malicious disinformation”? This new legal crime under this fascist bill is unconstitutional for being vague, broad and non-objective. “Malicious disinformation” is open to many interpretations that can be abused by the state by trampling upon the right of the people to free speech. Would I be held liable for calling this law (if ever enacted) a fascist law? Would I be held responsible for saying that it seeks to control and regulate the entire business industry, medical profession, and the education sector? What I’m saying is not an example of “malicious disinformation” but the TRUTH! For those who didn’t read this bill, this bill is non-objective, dangerous and unconstitutional for it seeks to violate our individual rights and freedoms! Section 22 states the “Penalties” that may be incurred by any person who violates the provisions and intents of this bill:

Other important things to know about the bill are as follows:

  • Under Section 18, no Filipino can get married without securing a Certificate of Compliance “issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.” Under Section 28(d), “any person who shall falsify a certificate of compliance” would be penalized. 
  • Under Section 19, all “Barangay Health Workers and other community-based health workers shall undergo training on the promotion of reproductive health and shall receive at least 10% increase 1 in honoraria, upon successful completion of training.”
  • Section 20 on Ideal Family Size, which states: “The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall be imposed on parents having more than two children.”
  • Under Section 22 on Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women. This section requires that all “private and non-government reproductive health care service providers, including but not limited to gynecologists and obstetricians,  are mandated to provide at least forty-eight (48) hours annually of reproductive health services, ranging from providing information and education to rendering medical services, free of charge to indigent and low income patients, especially to pregnant adolescents.” Clearly this covers conscientious objectors and reproductive health care service providers in Catholic and religious hospitals.

Oppose the RH Bill at all cost!!!

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