POPCOM calls for lifting of TRO on contraceptives

  • March 17, 2017
  • Julius B. Embile

LEGAZPI CITY, March 15 (PIA) – Coinciding with this year's observance of the National Women’s Month this year, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) in Bicol region seeks to promote women’s welfare by calling for the lifting of the "temporary restraining order" (TRO) on the implementation of reproductive health measures, specifically the distribution of contraceptives.

Restriction

In June of 2015, the Supreme Court (SC) issued the TRO that forbids the government from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing and administering, advertising and promoting” contraceptive implants.  The TRO is in effect until the high court’s final disposition of an appeal to permanently ban the product for its alleged “abortifacient” side effects.

The petition that resulted in the said TRO was filed by Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (ALFI) earlier in 2015. Notably, the TRO deters the Department of Health (DOH) from acquiring and distributing contraceptive products Implanon and Implanon NXT to the public.

Implanon and Implanon NXT are subdermal contraceptives or implants (thin rods inserted under the skin) that prevents pregnancy to up to three years. These contraceptive implants were approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), but the TRO was still issued upon the petitioner’s argument that the implants have “abortifacient character.”

However, since the issuance of the TRO, health and women’s welfare groups have reportedly pleaded with the high court to lift the restriction. They argued that it is against the spirit of the Responsible Parenting and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law of 2012.

In 2016, the DOH asked the SC to lift the TRO but was rejected.

POPCOM’s stand

In a statement released by POPCOM-Bicol earlier this month, the commission has called for the lifting of the TRO on the Implanon and Implanon NXT implants by drawing public support and spearheading a signature campaign on the matter.

The statement also said that the commission was collecting at least one million signatures this March to reinforce their petition in lifting the TRO. POPCOM-Bicol added that, as early as the beginning of March, they had already collected 4,564 signatures in the region alone.

“The impending absence of contraceptives, especially the cheaper ones, will affect maternal mortality in the country. When this happen, it will be a public health emergency,” said POPCOM Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez.

Timing the their drive on the 2017 National Women’s Month, which is centered on the theme “We Make Change Work for Women”, POPCOM stated that this call for the lifting of the TRO is a timely action for women’s empowerment and health welfare, as reinforced by the Magna Carta for Women.

POPCOM’s point refers specifically to the Magna Carta’s provision that guarantees women’s access to education and services, including reproductive health services.The commission further claimed that the TRO has caused delays in the full implementation of the RPRH law, something that reportedly poses adverse effects to the country’s population program.

POPCOM figures reveal more than 13.4 million Filipino women were already affected by the TRO, including 6.1 million who use contraceptives and 7.3 million who need family-planning measures.

“This Women’s Month, no gifts is sweeter for Filipinos, especially for the women who have long believed and fought for the law, than the resolution to lift the TRO on family planning,” Dr. Perez stressed. (EAD/JBE/PIA-5)


Other News

NDRRMC rolls out Bida Ang Handa Campaign for the 2nd quarter nationwide EQ drill
  • June 27, 2017
MANILA, June 27 (PIA) -- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) through the Regional DRRM Councils will hold the 2nd Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) on 29 June 2017, Thursday, 2PM at Bolton Street in Davao City as the ceremonial venue.   In line with this, OCD kicks off the Bida ang Handa Campaign which generally aims to promote disaster preparedness through public’s participation in the NSED. The main goal of the activity is to gather the maximum number of commitments via social media.   This campaign involves the participa...Read more
Roses for peace on Eid'l Ftr
  • June 27, 2017
BURU-UN, LANAO DEL NORTE – Roses for Peace on Eid'l  Fitr as intense gun battles continued to erupt in the heart of Marawi City, a celebration was taking place in the open grounds of the Iligan City National School of FIsheries which served as an evacuation center for civilians who fled the armed conflict. The mood was festive, as the more than 180 families who have been living in the evacuation center for a month commemorated Eid al-Fitr, or the end of the observance of Ramdhan. But what struck a sensitive chord among the hundreds of people gathered at the site was the excha...Read more
Vizcaya eyes more tourism projects
  • June 27, 2017
BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya, June 27 (PIA) – An official of the  tourism body here has vowed more tourism-related projects and activities to boost tourist arrivals in the province.   Former Governor Ruth Padilla, president of the Nueva Vizcaya Tourism Council, said they are now preparing the documents for the declaration of the Capissaan Cave System in Kasibu town, Mt. Palali in Bayombong town and Mt. Ugo in Kayapa town as protected areas through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).     “These are some of our eco-tourism attractions that need to be pre...Read more
US Embassy, UP-IIS host ‘iftars’ in honor of Ramadan
  • June 27, 2017
BUTUAN CITY, June 27 (PIA) - In culmination of the holy month of Ramadan, the United States (U.S.) Embassy in the Philippines has partnered with the University of the Philippines (UP) Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS) in hosting two simultaneous iftar activities on Wednesday.  One at IIS in Quezon City and the other at the Santa Elena Evacuation Center in Iligan City serving 1,140 Marawi evacuees.  The two communities shared food and fellowship, and strengthened their resolve in solidarity with victims of the Marawi siege.   Following Maghrib, the sunset prayer, U.S. Embassy Deputy ...Read more