President Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued stopping the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law.
The President made the appeal in his second State of the Nation Address on Monday, referring to the high court’s order against the purchase of Implanon and Implanon NXT in June 2015.
In August 2016, the tribunal issued another order requiring the certification and re-certification of all contraceptives to be used under the RH Law, including those that have been traditionally certified for decades as safe and non-abortifacient.
The court had said it cannot lift the TRO because the Food and Drug Administration has yet to determine the safety and efficacy of the contraceptives.
“Any declaration by the Court at this time would have no basis because the FDA, which has the mandate and expertise on the matter, has to first resolve the controversy pending before its Office,” it said.
“A temporary restraining order is the bane of our efficiency. It has been two years. The government purchases of medicines for RH implementation will already expire next month,” Duterte said.
The Reproductive Health law, passed in 2013, enables the government to provide free contraceptives such as condoms and intrauterine devices.
“I am not for family planning, I am not for abortion, I am not for birth control. I am for the freedom of Filipinos to decide the size of their family,” the President said.