If you haven’t already heard, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Commission on Population (PopCom) have set out to fully implement the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RH) law. This is after a successful investigation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declaring that all 51 contraceptive products are safe and non-abortifacient.
According to Commission on Population executive director Dr. Juan Perez III, November 13, 2017 is when the full effectivity of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the RH law officially began. That means the two-year temporary restraining order thrown down by the Supreme Court earlier this year is now a thing of the past.
A variety of contraceptive products, notably including the controversial Implanon and Implanon NXT, have all been cleared as medically safe—so what does this mean for Filipinas who thought they’d be losing birth control for good?
Well, one thing’s for sure: We don’t have to worry about dwindling stocks at pharmacies anymore.
Some users have also noted that birth control pill prices have skyrocketed this year since the FDA first opened this investigation, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that those prices will stabilize soon. You can finally stop panic-buying and hoarding already-expensive birth control, because all 51 contraceptives’ manufacturing licenses have been renewed (albeit for varying time periods).
Looking at the bigger picture, this also means that Filipinas have access to more than just condoms to prevent pregnancy. Of course, women who use birth control to suppress Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) symptoms, keep cystic acne at bay, and stabilize other hormonal imbalances can finally breathe easy, too!
It’s not just a victory for longtime birth control users. Now that the RH Law is set for full implementation, women in parts of the Philippines with limited access to birth control, as well as women in urban poor communities who can’t afford birth control, are set to benefit from subsidized contraceptives and health exams. Double yay!
It was touch-and-go for a while there, but this is definitely a step in the right direction for safe sex and sex positivity in the Philippines. We’re thrilled, and we hope you are too!