Brgy. Ayala Alabang requires prescription for condoms, says condoms are unconstitutional

24 Oras report

 

Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City has released an ordinance requiring residents to present prescriptions to buy "anti-conceptional substance or devices" such as condoms and contraceptive pills, reports GMA News. The ordinance took effect yesterday.

It reads: "The barangay denounces the use of condoms as far as they promote and sanction immoral sexual congresses among the unmarried and especially among the young, thereby contradicting the Constitutional injunction that the State ’shall promote and protect... the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being’ of the youth."

According to GMA News, the barangay also "condemns the irresponsible and indiscriminate use of contraceptives as they undermine the solidarity of families by promoting premarital sex, giving rise to more fatherless children, more single mothers, more poverty, and more abortions when the contraceptives fail to prevent conception, and by causing a decline (in) legitimate marriages."

Lawyer Luis Sison, the spokesperson of the well-heeled barangay, told GMA News yesterday that they are only following Republic Act 5921, which was passed in 1969 according to 24 Oras. Part of it reads, "No drug or chemical product or device capable of provoking abortion or preventing conception... shall be delivered or sold to any person without a proper prescription by a duly licensed physician."

The ordinance also prohibits advertising, promoting, and distributing free abortifacients, and using barangay funds to purchase contraceptives. Residents are allowed to purchase condoms outside Ayala Alabang and bring the contraceptives in the barangay, according to Sison, but they cannot sell or give them away within the barangay jurisdiction. Parental permission is also required to teach sex education in schools in Ayala Alabang.

According to GMA News, violators will be penalized with a P1,000-to-P5,000 fine for the first offense. For the second offense, violators will be fined at least P5,000 and will be imprisoned from one to six months.

Elizabeth Angsioco, chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, has spoken against the barangay ordinance in a statement, reports GMA News. "The ordinance is coercive as it forces residents to adhere to the wrong view that contraceptives are abortifacients and are dangerous to women’s health."

"The Ayala Alabang barangay council cannot be more authoritative than (the World Health Organization) on this matter. Fact is, even the country’s Bureau of Food and Drugs Administration recognizes the safety and efficacy of contraceptives with its approval to making contraceptives available," Angsioco said.

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She added, "The Ayala-Alabang experience underscores the need for a national RH (Reproductive Health) law. The RH bill should be passed now. It will repeal this ordinance."

Former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, a resident of Ayala Alabang, said the ordinance violates the right of people to choose their own family planning method. "Kailangang tandaan nila na ang Barangay Ayala Alabang ay wala sa Afghanistan. Sila ay hindi mga Taliban," she told 24 Oras. ("They should remember that Barangay Ayala Alabang is not in Afghanistan. They are not the Taliban.")

For more on this story, log on to GMA News.

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