Eddie Villanueva

House hailed over religious freedom bill okay

January 18, 2022 Jester P. Manalastas 236 views

THE House of Representatives approved a measure that provides every Filipino a freedom to choose religion.

With a vote of 205 affirmatives and no negative, the House Bill 10569 or the Magna Carta on Religious Freedom Act was passed on third and final reading.

Principal author Deputy Speaker and Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-list Representative Bro. Eddie Villanueva lauded Speaker Lord Alan Velasco, House Majority Leader and Leyte Representative Martin G. Romualdez and his colleagues for approval of the bill, saying it is perfectly timed for the pandemic.

“Concretizing the right to freedom of religion through an implementing law is long-overdue. And the passage could not have come at a better time, when governments are susceptible to overreaching their powers because of the global catastrophe we’re facing. This is definitely a high point in the country’s history and a good news to Filipino faithful who put unparalleled importance to their relationship with their Creator,” Villanueva said.

The bill covers the right to choose a religion or religious groups; right to exercise or express religious belief, practices, acts, or activities; right to act in accordance with conscience; right to propagate religious beliefs; right to disseminate religious publications; right of religious worship and ceremonies to freedom and from interruption; right to organizational independence; right to freedom against discrimination; right to freedom against discrimination in educational institutions; right of companies or businesses to be founded on religious beliefs; right of parents or legal guardians to rear children

The solon said Filipinos shall be encouraged to pursue their own spiritual growth according to their God-given power to choose.

“They shall be afforded freedom to think, to choose, and to practice their religious beliefs without the fear of persecution or punishment or the threat thereof. Wherever religious persecution is practiced, normalized, condoned, encouraged, and even incentivized, you can expect the stifling of other human rights,” Villanueva also said.

The bill also aims to promote a free market of religious ideas in the country where no religious belief is suppressed or quelled over the other.

However, the CIBAC solon clarified that the bill recognizes limitations to religious freedom. Accordingly, it can be denied, regulated, burdened, or curtailed if an action results to violence, or inflicts or poses to inflict direct or indirect physical or material harm or danger on other people, or infringe on their own freedom of religion or conscience, or is necessary to protect public safety, public order, health, property and good morals.