SC stops distribution, sale of contraceptives

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THE 2nd Division of the Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order stopping the Department of Health from authorizing the distribution and selling of contraceptives as mandated by the controversial Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (Republic Act 10354).

The decision by the SC Division chaired by Associate Justice Antonio Carpio was handed down during deliberations held last June 17, court insiders told the Manila Times.

The DOH was haled into court by Maria Concepcion S. Niche, president of the Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines after the agency allegedly failed to abide by the guidelines set by the high court in implementing the law.

The group claimed that the contraceptives being distributed and sold did not pass Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scrutiny.


The SC has enjoined the DOH or its representatives and agents from granting any and all pending applications for registration and/or recertification for reproductive products and supplies including contraceptive drugs and devices.

The high tribunal also stopped the DOH from procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive Implanon and Implanon NXT.

It was alleged by the petitioners that the FDA had already certified that Implanon and Implanon NXT appears to have abortifacient character, hence, grave abuse of discretion was committed by the DOH in allowing the sale and distribution of the said drugs.

The petitioners also assailed the move of the DOH in approving contraceptives without the necessary public hearing or consultation as required by law.

The SC has also ordered Health Secretary Janet Garin to explain and comment on the petition within 10 days.

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15 Comments

  1. sadly, the Filipinos will always tolerate anything. no planning = disaster. disaster = chaos. chaos = unrest. unrest = tolerance. this kind of resilience is what is making development nearly zero rate. electricity? problem. water? problem. safety onthe roads? problem. drugs? problem. flooding? problem. rice? problem. rape? problem. holdup? problem. air pollution? problem. employment? problem. pero may gambling resorts. may travel fair. may mall sale every weekend. something is very wrong in the system around us. you cannot even decide on having or not these types of contraceptives now. kung bawal mag plan ng pregnancy.

  2. Public Health Practitioner on

    To educate you on hormonal contraceptives and health in general, I’d like to say these:

    Did you also know that ultraviolet radiation (i.e. being exposed to the sun) also increases a person’s risk for skin cancer? By your line of thinking, you should also stand up to promote to everyone not to expose themselves to the sun. Now, does that make sense? My point is, anything and everything, when used improperly, can harm. If you overexpose yourself to sunlight, you can be harmed. If hormonal contraceptives are improperly used, they can harm. The thing about hormonal contraceptives (and for all drugs and medicines for that matter) is that,they are required by law to be used properly.

    So hormonal contraceptives, when used with proper diligence by the users, are very much safe and will not harm anyone.

  3. Teddy Sevilla on

    Is this a case of meddling by the Supreme Court?

    If the FDA has the power to regulate the distribution of contraceptives, couldn’t have Niche and the petitioners just have simply gone to this agency and complained about the transgressions of the DOH? Why run immediately to the SC? The specific issues raised are technical, and the FDA has sufficient resources and authority to investigate this. Isn’t this case a rather petty one for the SC to tackle?

    Is it because the petitioners know that there are sympathetic ears over at the high court who simply can’t shrug off their conservative values? Our people has already passed judgement on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act. This Act has already been debated upon extensively. Why can’t we just move on?

    • emmanuel mallari on

      I do not think it is meddling. Otherwise, Supreme Court will not accept it when it was filed. The issue is … DOH failed to abide by the guidelines set by the high court in implementing the law. Meaning, it is a question of law that only the Supreme Court can interpret and resolve with finality.

  4. Concerned Citizen on

    Thank you SC for showing us true justice, especially for the women who are poisoned by these abortifacients!

    FDA would always certify anything that DOH wants!
    Abortifacients kill fertilized ova by preventing its implantation and making the uterus inhabitable! Time to tell the truth behind these contraceptives!

    Might as well stop the advertisements made by Ariel Rivera and Gelli De Belen promoting contraceptives that are harmful to the health of women and killing innocent babies in the womb!

    • Public Health Practitioner on

      Much more people have died and will die because of NOT using contraceptives.

      FYI, contraceptives are prescribed by health professionals BEFORE fertilization, and not after.

      Health professionals check and double-check if a woman is pregnant. If she’s not (=BEFORE fertilization), only then will they prescribe contraceptives.
      The health professional knows that he/she may be criminally liable for prescribing contraceptives to a pregnant woman.

      Your statement: “FDA would always certify anything that DOH wants!” is not true. FDA does not ALWAYS certify anything the DOH wants.

    • Snap out of it! – a fertilized egg is not even close to being a baby – this country is so overpopulated as it is – how about teaching your kids and the young how to protect them selves against pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases…
      Why cant you people see that religion is holding this country hostage with those ancient beliefs and keeps the country overpopulated and in poverty, who will feed all those kids? where will they work when they grow up? its time to move into 2015!

  5. Jeanne Escriva on

    Thank you, SC! And thank you ALFI! Hormonal contraceptives have been proven to increase a person’s risk of having breast, cervical, and liver cancer, as well as blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism. They have also been proven to cause embryonic abortion by preventing the implantation of the embryo into the mother’s uterus. So thank you so much for standing up for women and their babies!

  6. @marcospolo Abortion remains illegal in the Philippines, hence any contraceptive that has abortifacient characteristics should be banned. It is not democracy to allow people to do just anything they want. There is a difference between freedom and anarchy.

    • So what is the good thing about banning abortion in the first place? tell me this, your 15 year old daughter was raped on the way home from school, now she has to carry the child of a rapist and bring it up? i cant think any stronger humiliation – how about pregancies where the featus grows outside the uterus? the mom will most likely die form that pregnancy. How about all those young teenangers who never learned about condoms, but as we all know, enjoys sex as everyone else – their future is ruined because they didnt know better. Those teenagers will never finish their own childhood before they become parents, so what about education? what about work?
      If you want to make a strong nation, you have to realise how the world works, ok?
      I hope just a small part of it got through to you.

  7. Gago talaga itong SC!!!kontrolado pa rin ng pari!!at mga panatikong baliw!
    Kung masama sa inyo na gumamit nito,di wag ninyong gamitin wala naman pumipigil sa inyo!!ang masama,gusto ninyong hadlangan iyong mga taong ang paniniwala nila dito ay tama!!kanya-kanyang paniniwala yan! Kaya may demokrasya upang bawat isa ay mamili kung ano ang mabuti para sa bawat isa! Anong klaseng hustisya ang ginagawa ng SC!!

    • Walang pumipigil sa sinumang Pilipino na gumamit ng contraceptives. This is about DOH violating the law. Go to any 7-11, Mini Stop or Mercury Drug store and you can still buy as many contraceptives as you want. No need to confuse the issue.

    • Dear Sir,
      By the way, your statement sound like an uncontrolled (edited-Mod)! The Supreme Court is not subservient to any institution except to the Constitution of the Philippines. It interprets what is constitutional and what is not. RH law provides that No abortifacient shall be distributed for commercial purposes to safeguard its citizenry against the ill effects of such. Anyway, that is the law and you can not circumvent outside of it.
      You have to resort to the black market to buy those that are not prescribed by law. And you know very well what the consequences of black marketing can effect not only to the consumers but also to our economy.
      Please be informed that freedom is a choice for what is beneficial to all. We don’t have yet the freedom outside of our constitution. Otherwise that will be contrary to our laws.
      Be happy!
      Che’

  8. Felimon A. Soria on

    “Contraceptives distributed and sold did not pass FDA scrutiny”. First and foremost before any medication contraceptive or otherwise be prescribe, physician has the knowledge of its safety and effectiveness otherwise TRO or not by any court is disingenuous.