House panel OKs religious freedom bill

November 30, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 279 views

A BILL protecting the right of the public to “freedom of religion” in the country hurdles the House Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday.

House Bill (HB) No. 2213, or “Magna Carta on Religious Freedom Act,” was approved subject to style and amendment as the bill was already passed on the third and final reading from the previous 18th Congress.

Authored by Citizens Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-list Representative Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva, the proposed bill seeks to provide for an implementing law that will protect and promote the right of Filipinos to live according to their religious beliefs and convictions.

“With this bill, Filipinos will be encouraged to pursue spiritual growth by affording them the freedom to conduct their lives in accordance with their faith or religious belief without the fear of persecution, threat, or punishment,” said Villanueva in his sponsorship speech.

“Moreover, this measure also aims to promote a free market of religious ideas in the country where no religion is suppressed or quelled over the other. By leveling the playing field for the propagation of different religions, Filipinos are afforded the full spectrum of varying faiths and the freedom to choose to which they will subscribe,” Villanueva added.

However, the CIBAC lawmaker also clarified that the bill recognizes limitations to religious freedom.

Accordingly, it can be denied, regulated, burdened, or curtailed if an action results in violence, 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.

The Magna Carta on Religious Freedom Act will now be set for House plenary debate and will be transmitted to the Senate for its action after third and final reading approval.