Press Release
December 5, 2016

Sotto slams NGOs on SC TRO vs contraceptives

Senator Vicente C. Sotto III doubted the intent of some organizations that have been urging the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) that prevented the health department from procuring hormonal contraceptive which could be an abortifacient.

Sotto said it is not true that the Filipino families are being deprived of their rights to choose a family planning method, in fact, there are millions of pesos allocated for the procurement of contraceptives from the budget of Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH 2017 proposed budget for its Family, Health and Responsible Parenthood Program is ?4.2-billion and allocated ?165-million of which for contraceptives.

Based on the General Appropriation Act (GAA), every year, the government through the DOH has allocated a budget for the procurement of contraceptives and for the implementation of agency's family planning program.

"The Supreme Court issued a TRO against the provision which they think violated our constitution and buying contraceptives that has not passed through the approval of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is a gross violation of our law," Sotto pointed out.

Last September 13, 2016, the SC denied the plea of the Office of the Solicitor General to lift the TRO that stopped the DOH from "procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive 'Implanon' and 'Implanon NXT'."

The SC also ordered the FDA to find out whether the said contraceptives are abortifacient or not.

Under the Republic Act 10354, Sec. 9 states that "the National Drug Formulary shall include hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective family planning products and supplies."

"The RH Law is not the only work of the DOH and contraception is not the only feature of the RH law. If the previous administration's implementation is unsatisfactory it is not because of the lack of contraceptives but due to the poor execution of the law." he added.

"These NGOs are up to something else. Their motivation is misplaced. They should focus on implementation not shoot down the entire law," Sotto said.

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