Ria was correct in her comments. There were no fireworks at the City Council yesterday over the controversial Development Plan for Children.
The expected verbal clash was toned down by the move to defer consideration of the issue until next week. Its proponent Councilor Angela Librado-Trinidad told our colleagues no less than the Mayor himself wants to talk the matter with members of the City Council before its final voting next session.
The principal oppositor Councilor Teresita Mata-Maranon delivered her final speech to appeal to our colleagues to reject the proposal.
The Development Plan for Children indeed appears innocent at first glance. However, a large portion of it deals with reproductive health issues opposed by pro-lifers, family crusaders and the Catholic Church. Neophyte Councilor Kaloi Bello on a number of occasion sought clarification if the title of the measure fits with its content.
Had the proposed plan been solely for the development of children, I have no doubt this measure would have long been approved. It has dragged on this long – over a year now – due largely to provisions regarding the contentious reproductive health programs of the government.
My own take of it is that having failed to pass legislation at the national level, RH programs are being pushed at the local level. Quezon City passed a measure last year which met stiff opposition from the Catholic Church.
A number of us suspect that this so-called Development Plan for Children is a Trojan Horse. Hidden by the gift wrappings are highly divisive reproductive health provisions.