2/25/2011

JUSQU'OU ... IRONT-ILS ?

Plus possible d'acheter un caoutchouc sans ordonnance !

In Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City, people will need a prescription to buy a condom.

The Sanggunian Barangay of Ayala Alabang released an ordinance that takes effect on February 24, 2011 that seeks, among others, to penalize the sale and purchase of "anti-conceptional substance or devices," like condoms and contraceptive pills, without a prescription.

The ordinance requires health services performed within the territorial jurisdiction of Barangay Ayala Alabang to use only "safe, ethical, effective, legal and non-abortifacient medicines or drugs or machines, devices or methods of treatment that do not cause abortion intentionally or unintentionally."

The ordinance requires pharmacies within the territorial jurisdiction of Barangay Ayala Alabang to ask for a prescription before selling contraceptives like condoms and hormone pills.
Some contraceptive drugs, like the injectible Depo Provera, are prohibited.
In other pharmacies around the country, condoms and pills are sold over-the-counter.


In an interview with GMA News Online on Thursday, Barangay Ayala Alabang spokesperson Atty. Luis Sison cited Republic Act 5921, or the act regulating the practice of pharmacy in the country, which says "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."
"That means if you want to buy a condom, you need a prescription from a physician, with the name of the doctor and the patient on it," he said. "Pharmacies cannot just sell condoms among the soap and the shampoo and vitamins. It has to be sold behind the counter and with a prescription."
Sison added that residents may buy condoms in another city or barangay and bring the condoms into Ayala Alabang, but they are not allowed to sell it or give it away if they are within the territorial jurisdiction of the barangay.

Violators of the ordinance's provisions will be fined an amount no less than P1,000 but not exceeding P5,000 for the first offense. A second offense will be fined not less than P5,000 and will merit imprisonment for not less than one month but not exceeding six months. Violators will also be held civilly liable to the offended party.

Ban on advertisements
Under the ordinance, the barangay will penalize any person who advertises, promotes, sells or distributes for free any kind of abortifacient.
The ordinance defines abortifacients as any device, medicine or substance that may damage or interfere with the natural development or cause the expulsion or death of an unborn child.
The use of barangay funds for the purchase or provision of contraceptives is also prohibited.
According to the ordinance, the barangay views contraceptive pills, hormonal contraceptives, and IUDs as products that can kill children and injure the health of women who use them.
"The Barangay... 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 of legitimate marriages," the ordinance said.
The ordinance also said Barangay Ayala Alabang, known as the residence of some of the country's elite, denounces the use of condoms as far as they "promote and sanction immoral sexual congresses among the unmarried and especially among the young."


Pro-life stance
Sison said the barangay council passed the ordinance because they wanted to be proactive in their pro-life stance.
"St. James the Great Parish was the one who became very active in fighting the passing into law of the RH (Reproductive Health) bill, and this movement in the parish gained momentum," he said.
"We were asked to speak in other parishes and it became quite a very enthusiastic movement, so we decided to take this one step further," he added.
He said the barangay council drafted the ordinance and even gave notice to the residents about a hearing to be conducted by the barangay committee on health. He said a lot of residents attended the meeting and no objections were aired, so the barangay leaders decided to submit the ordinance to the Muntinlupa City hall.
"The city council did not veto the ordinance, they only expressed some concerns," he said. "They approved it, so the ordinance is actually a law now in the barangay."


Sex education
The ordinance also prohibits teaching compulsory sex education without prior consultation with, and written permission of, the parents or guardians of minor students in any public or private school within the jurisdiction of the barangay.
"The schools will have to follow that as well. If they have sex ed in their curriculum, they will have to revise that," Sison said.
Within Barangay Ayala Alabang are private schools like De La Salle Zobel, PAREF Woodrose and Montessori de Manila.


Coercive ordinance
Meanwhile, reproductive health advocates said the ordinance released in Barangay Ayala Alabang is a violation of its residents' right to health, information and privacy.
"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," said Elizabeth Angsioco, national chairperson of the Democratic Socialists Women of the Philippines, in a statement.
Angsioco said that contraceptives are safe and effective, as it is even part of the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines.


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


"The Ayala-Alabang experience underscores the need for a national RH law," she said. "The RH bill should be passed now. It will repeal this ordinance."


Dark ages?
Ayala Alabang Village resident Kevin Punzalan told GMA News Online that he only found out about the ordinance on Thursday. "We were never formally notified about the hearing on the anti-RH ordinance," he said.
He expressed his disapproval of the ordinance and said that officials have to realize that the barangay is not a Catholic barangay.
"It's a multicultural barangay with residents from other countries, and these people have different religious and cultural beliefs, which I think should be respected," he said.


He added that the ordinance assumes that majority of the residents in the barangay are wealthy and do not need access to reproductive health services from the government.
"How about the helpers and other employees who cannot afford to go to a physician to get a prescription for pills or condoms? They may not have access to these services because the barangay is restricting it," he said.
"Without condoms, they may be at risk for STDs," he added. "Will that work for the community?"
Another resident from Ayala Alabang who asked not to be named said the ordinance sounds like "we're going back to the dark ages."


"It's totally against giving people the freedom to choose what they want for their lives," she said, adding that the ordinance seems to have "a lot of slippery slope statements."– VVP/HS, GMA News

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