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THE POPULATION ISSUE
IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION OF 1986

Pertinent references from the Archives of the Constitutional Commission of 1986

 
A. RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO DELETE SECTION 13
     OF PROPOSED RESOLUTION NO. 531

This proposal was not submitted to the Secretary-General for indexing. The proponent left the country on official mission abroad. Instead, the draft was distributed to other Commissioners for their information as to the position of the proponent. What was to be deleted read as follows :

SECTION 13. It shall be the responsibility of the State to adopt population policies most conducive to the national welfare. It shall, however, be the right and duty of parents to determine the number of their children and, in the exercise of this right and duty, they shall not be compelled to use means of birth limitation that shall be against their informed conscience and religious conviction.

The first sentence above is a rewording -- proposed by the Committee on General Provisions -- of the 1973 provision, which explicitly mandated the State to "achieve and maintain population levels." The second sentence -- introduced by Commissioner Bacani, a member of the same committee -- is a precautionary provision designed to safeguard parents from abusive interpretations of the first provision. The three main advocates who pursued the proposed resolution (to delete Section 13) were Commissioners Colayco, Treñas, and Uka.

B. INTERPELLATIONS ON SECTION 13
     [ JOURNAL OF FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1986 ]

Interpellation of Mrs. QUESADA

29

Interpellation of Mr. COLAYCO

32

Comments of Ms. TAN

34

Reaction of Mr. COLAYCO

34

Interpellation of Mr. RIGOS

35

C. AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 13
     [ JOURNAL OF MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1986 ]

 Proposed Amendment of Messrs. UKA and TRENAS

52

Reply of Mr. BACANI

53

Inquiries of Mr. DE LOS REYES

54

Remarks of Ms. AQUINO

54

Remarks of Mr. COLAYCO

55

Remarks of Mr. OPLE

56

Remarks of Mr. BACANI

57

Remarks of Mrs. QUESADA

57

Remarks of Mr. COLAYCO

59

[ ---- Two-minute suspension of session ---- ]

59

Remarks of Mr. BACANI on behalf of Mr. RIGOS

59

Point of Order of Mr. BENGZON

60

Remarks of Mrs. NIEVA

60

Approval of Mr. UKA's Amendment

60

Manifestation of Mr. ROMULO

65

D. ATTEMPTED REOPENING AND AMENDMENT OF SECTION 13
     [ JOURNAL OF TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1986 ]

Amendment of Messrs. RIGOS, ROMULO, Ms. AQUINO and Mrs. ROSARIO-BRAID

66

Remarks of Mr. BACANI

66

Remarks of Mr. SARMIENTO

67

Remarks of Mr. OPLE

67

E. DISCUSSION NOTES ON SECTION 13

These briefs were distributed to the Commissioners for their immediate guidance on the debate floor. The first set was distributed on the morning of Monday, September 29, before the period of Amendments. The second set was distributed on the morning of Tuesday, September 30, in preparation for the possible reintroduction of a substitute amendment. Although these documents were not incorporated as such into the records, the arguments they contain were resorted to extensively on the floor and read into the records, for the deletion of Section 13 and the rejection of the substitute amendment on "education in responsible parenthood."

F. SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON BIRTH CONTROL,
    CONTRACEPTION, AND FAMILY PLANNING

This brief was among several provided to the three main advocates for their reference in interpellation. Commissioner Colayco moved that this document be included in the records of the Commission.

G. SPEECH: MOTION TO DELETE SECTION 13

Copies of this speech were provided to the three main advocates for use in the Period of Amendments. Arguments contained herein gave clarification during suspensions of sessions and off-record discussions. Portions of it were read into the records by Commissioner Uka.

 

 

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