LGUs told not to enact anti-contraceptives ordinances

Published by rudy Date posted on April 1, 2011

MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday called on local government units to refrain from enacting ordinances prohibiting the purchase of contraceptives without prescription.   He said local government units have no power to issue such ordinances.  

It was reported that last month, Barangay Ayala-Alabang in Muntinlupa City and seven barangays in Balanga City, Bataan had passed ordinances banning the sale, purchase, and distribution of birth control devices in their jurisdiction without prescription.

Robredo said the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the agency mandated by law to determine the safety of drugs and health products for consumption.

He also cited that under the Pharmacy Law, the Board of Pharmacy is the only body authorized to regulate, supervise, and control the practice of pharmacy in the country.      

“In no provision of the Pharmacy Law did it state that such power has been delegated or can be delegated to a different body or agency, like the local sanggunians,” Robredo said. He said ordinances issued by barangay officials should not oppose any provisions of the Constitution.

“The requirements include that the ordinance must not contravene the Constitution or any statute; must not be unfair or oppressive; must not be partial or discriminatory; and must be general and consistent with public policy,” Robredo said.

The Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, which is still pending in the House of Representatives, supports the use of artificial methods of birth control, which the Catholic Church opposes.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had resumed dialogues on the Responsible Parenthood Bill, Malacañang’s version of the RH Bill.

Women’s group Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) said the government should include women’s groups and other religious groups in the dialogue.

“Again, men discuss our ovaries in our absence,” said DSWP chair Elizabeth Angsioco. “The President should be reminded that the country is not 100 percent Catholic. It is only right that he listens to other religious leaders.” –-Cecile Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) with Sheila Crisostomo

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