SENATOR Francis Escudero on Tuesday called on the Supreme Court (SC) to decide on the merits of the case involving the sale and distribution of contraceptives by the government so that congress and the government can act accordingly.
Escudero said the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the high tribunal on the use of contraceptives that are considered abortifacients ties the hands of the government.
“I urge the SC to rule on the merits of the case one way or the other in order for both Congress and the government to act accordingly,” Escudero said in a text message.
Escudero was reacting to the study recently released by the Commission on Population (PopCom) which said that the Philippine population can hit 105.75 million by the end of 2017 because of the high fertility rate of Filipino women. At least three babies are expected to be born every three minutes this year.
Escudero said a ruling from the SC will enable the government and congress to come up with measures pushing for responsible parenthood.
“It’s about time the Supreme Court acted on it already,” the senator said.
But Senate Majority leader Vicente Sotto 3rd argued that the SC should not be blamed for the projected increase in population but the poor implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) law.
He noted that the TRO only covers the use of abortifacients.
“The apprehensions being aired are wrong. The real problem is poor implementation of the RH law. Abortifacients promote abortion. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines,” Sotto pointed out.
He added that the government is allowed to promote the use of condom and other contraceptives that are not considered abortifacients.
The SC stopped the Department of Health (DOH) from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive ‘Implanon’ and ‘Implanon NXT’.”
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, also called on the government to implement a national population management strategy by allocating funds to legal family planning methods.
Population management, he said, is a fundamental economic strategy to make sure everyone attains quality of life at the shortest time frame possible.
“The high population growth rate of our country especially from the low income bracket is straining our already very limited resources,” he added. Jefferson Antiporda