Last December 7, the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) Foundation, Inc. held the "Apat na Taon, Apat na Hiling (Four Years, Four Requests)" event at the hotel Microtel by Wyndham in Quezon City. Around 100 reproductive health advocates from different sectors attended it.
Four years since its enactment, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RA 10354) or RH Law has encountered all sorts of challenges.
"The problems in the implementation of the RH Law include inadequate budget, uneven implementation or lack of political will to implement at the local level, and lack of awareness of the law among its beneficiaries," the Philippine News Agency reports.
To date, though, the biggest obstacle that the RH Law has encountered is the Supreme Court's temporary restraining order (TRO) on the registration, procurement, and distribution of family planning products.
It may be recalled that in 2015, the Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines filed a complaint to the Supreme Court (SC) alleging that certain contraceptive implants allowed under the RH Law have "abortifacient side effects."
As such, the SC issued the TRO that prevents the government from procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing, administering, advertising, and promoting implants. The SC ruling also stopped the Food and Drug Administration from granting pending applications for reproductive products, including contraceptives.
In this light, the PLCPD requests the following:
- that the Supreme Court lift the temporary restraining order on family planning
- that the executive branch of government intensify the government program on family planning and make it accessible to everyone
- that local government units invest in family planning and implement the law
- that the legislature exercise oversight in implementation, invest in family planning (budget appropriation), and fill in policy gaps.