Category Archives: Discuss-a-Bill

Right of Reply: Discussing SB 2150 and HB 3306

There are existing proposals in both chambers for a right of reply. In essence, the right of reply means that all persons who are accused directly or indirectly of committing or having committed or of intending to commit any crime or offense defined by law or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to the charges published or printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or to criticisms aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites, or through any electronic device. Continue reading

Discussion: Proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008

You may be aware that there’s a growing debate on the proposed “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008” filed in the House of Representatives. Rep. Edcel Lagman as the principal sponsor (the Fact Sheet and the Explanatory Note to House Bill No. 17, substituted by HB 5043, is here. See also updated bill, House Bill 4244 and the general discussion on RH Bill). Continue reading

Allowing Absolute Divorce in the Philippines

Divorce is a controversial topic, except that it’s often discussed with hushed voices. Many are just waiting for the right opportunity to end their respective marriages, and the reasons are diverse — physical abuse (against the spouse and/or the children), sexual infidelity, irreconcilable differences and conflicting personalities, gross irresponsibility, loss (and transfer) of affection, among others. Unfortunately, these grounds are not enough to severe the marital bond through annulment. In lieu of divorce, married persons resort to annulment and according (“OSG Alarmed By Rising Marriage Annulment Cases“) to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), there is an alarming increase in the number of annulment cases in the Philippines. The number of annulment cases filed in courts, which never breached the 7,000-mark prior to 2006, rose to 7,138 (2006) and 7,753 (2007). Continue reading

In Memory of the Lemon Law: Discuss-a-Bill

Maybe not everyone noticed that there was an attempt (Senate Bill 2464) to enact a Philippine “Lemon Law,” which is intended to provide protection for buyers of motor vehicles that turn out to be defective. The Senate Bill sought to promote full protection to the rights of consumers in the sale of motor vehicles against sales and trade practices which are deceptive, unfair, or otherwise inimical to consumers and the public interest. [Updated: See Steps in Availing of Consumer Rights under the Philippine Lemon Law and Q&A on the Philippine Lemon Law (Republic Act 10642)] Continue reading

Decriminalize libel?

In 2004, Rep. Imee Marcos filed a bill (HB00330; I don’t know its status) seeking to extinguish the penalty of imprisonment and to impose higher fines for offenders of the crime of libel. The accompanying explanation states that the imposition of a more reasonable set of fines for offenders of the crime of libel is more in keeping with the protection of the right of individuals to freedom of speech and expression rather than the imposition the penalty of imprisonment. Continue reading