House OKs freedom of religion bill on 3rd, final reading

House OKs freedom of religion bill on 3rd, final reading

By Liezelle Soriano

MANILA — The House of Representatives has approved House Bill 6492, or the Magna Carta on Religious Freedom bill, on the third and final reading as sessions in the 19th Congress resumed on Monday (23 January 2023) following a month-long Christmas break.

The proposed measure by CIBAC Party List Representative Bro. Eddie Villanueva got 256 affirmative votes.

“This is indeed good news and a welcome development for all the Filipino people – whether they subscribe to a particular religion or not,” Villanueva said.

“With this measure, people can freely live out and conduct their lives in accordance with whatever religious belief they have – without the fear of being persecuted or harassed simply because of fidelity to their belief,” he added.

HB 6492 aims to implement and concretize the right of every Filipino to free exercise of religion and conscience guaranteed under Section 5, Article 3 of the Constitution. It defines the bundle of rights subsumed under the concept of freedom of religion and provides for corresponding penalties for its violations.

“With this bill, missionaries or propagators of various religions will be protected from persecution or harassment in the preaching and teaching of their faiths. This will promote a free market of religious ideas in the country so that Filipinos will have access to different religious information and freely choose for themselves, according to their individual decision, which faith they will subscribe to,” the televangelist-lawmaker said.

“This measure will ultimately liberate the Filipino people from inadvertent religious fanaticism and extremism – which is sometimes the cause of social problems we have – and guide them to the faith that will make their lives flourish the best,” Villanueva added.

(ai/mtvn)

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