28 February 2011
The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) condemns the issuance of an ordinance by officials of Barangay Ayala Alabang against the sale of condoms. The group meanwhile welcomed the position of the Muntinlupa City council that in its review of the barangay ordinance said that it might be violation of the law and guidelines of the Department of Health.
“The officials of Barangay Ayala Alabang are obviously being dogmatic while the Muntinlupa city councillors are being prudent in their positions. The exclusive subdivisions of Ayala Alabang may put as high a wall to prevent poor people from peering but they cannot setup its own rules in contradiction with the laws of the country,” explained PM Secretary General Judy Ann Chan-Miranda.
She added that, “The need for prescription undermines the right of residents in the barangay to contraceptives. In the first place, the need for prescription to purchase condoms and pills is baseless. Matagal na itong kinategorize na over-the-counter essential medicines ng Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) and even by the World Health Organization. Now, seemingly, these barangay officials have suddenly becomes medical experts.”
Yesterday more than a thousand women and men from PM and different women’s groups marched at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) office in Intramuros. On March 4, PM will hold a big assembly of women workers on the RH bill and other working women issues in preparation for the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. PM will commemorate Women’s Day with rallies at the Senate and House and Representatives to lobby for the RH bill.
“Prescriptions are used for drugs and medicines that may put people’s lives at risk. Anong health risk mayroon ang condom? And pills? Actually, it is highly prescribed by the WHO in preventing HIV-AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.” said Miranda.
PM further explained that legislating the Catholic Church’s doctrines, even at the barangay level, is coercive. “Women, men, parents and couples have the right to decide which contraceptives to use. It is neither up to the State nor the Church to decide on these matters,” Miranda insisted.