Ayala Alabang ordinance on condoms not approved by Muntinlupa City Council, barangay officials may be dismissed if they try to enforce ordinance

Councilor Margarita Patdu-Labios has said the Muntinlupa City Council did not approve Barangay Ayala Alabang’s controversial ordinance on contraceptives, reports Manila Bulletin. Thus, she said last week, the barangay cannot require residents to present prescriptions to buy condoms and contraceptive pills.

Patdu-Labios, a doctor who heads the Committee on Health and Sanitation, said the City Council found that the Ordinance No. 1 entitled "Protection of the Unborn Child of 2011" contained provisions that violate national laws.

Meanwhile, lawyer Clarita Padilla said yesterday that the Ayala Alabang barangay officials may be suspended or dismissed if they "try to enforce the suspended ordinance," reports ABS-CBN News.

Padilla, executive director of reproductive health group EnGendeRights, said the effectivity of the barangay ordinance was suspended when the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Muntinlupa wrote to Ayala Alabang Chairman Alfred Xerez-Burgos, Jr. in a letter dated January 11.

The letter reads: "The right of any individual to access contraceptives and family planning methods, deemed illegal in the barangay ordinance, yet allowed by the DOH, may constitute a violation of the equal protection clause of the 1987 Constitution."

"(The ordinance) infringes on the right to reproductive health, equal protection of the law and privacy by unduly restricting access to reproductive health information and to legal, safe and effective methods of contraception," Inquirer.net quoted Padilla as saying.

It "may be overturned by the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Muntinlupa, through initiative and plebiscite of the registered voters in Barangay Ayala Alabang or through judicial review," Padilla said in the ABS-CBN News report.

Padilla added, "This barangay ordinance clearly illustrates why we need the immediate passage of the RH bill into law. An RH law will prohibit local government officials from enacting these kinds of unreasonable and discriminatory ordinances."

For more on this story, log on to Manila Bulletin, ABS-CBN News and Inquirer.net.

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