PRRD 'most likely' backs HIV bill passage: Palace

By EJ Roque

January 8, 2019, 7:53 pm

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte is “most likely” supporting the passage of the HIV-AIDS Policy Act, which allows minors to get tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) without needing parental consent, Malacañang said Tuesday.

"Kung ayaw niya yun, e di vineto niya kaagad yun immediately. Kung ang isang Presidente ayaw sa isang proposed bill, siguradong veto na kaagad yun. The fact na hindi niya ginagawa, most likely gusto niya yun (If the President does not like the bill, he would have vetoed it immediately. The fact that he did not do that means he most likely likes it)," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a press briefing when asked about the bill.

Panelo said the President is currently preoccupied with many responsibilities and commitment and is likely the reason for not signing the bill passed by Congress' bicameral conference committee last November 26.

"Ang mahalaga dun, kung ito'y batas at makakabuti sa bayan natin (The important thing here is if it's a law and it's for the good of our nation), whether it was signed or it has lapsed into law, ganun din yun (it's just the same thing)," he said.

Panelo said he will confirm with the Office of the Executive Secretary whether Malacañang indeed received the bill for the President's signature on November 26.

The bill removes the need for minors aged 15 to18 years to get parental consent prior to being tested for HIV.

Latest DOH HIV/AIDS data registry also showed there were 2,811 new cases recorded from January to October 2018, from ages ranging from 15 to 24 years old. (PNA)