March 28, 2011
The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) condemned the issuance of ordinances by seven barangays in Bataan similar to the controversial Barangay Ayala Alabang rule against the sale of condoms. “The Bataan barangay ordinances against condom sale are second-rate trying copycats of the Brgy. Ayala Alabang decree that has already been assailed by many groups, among them the Muntinlupa city council. We see the hand of modern-day Damaso’s in meddling with the temporal affairs of barangays,” declared Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.
She added that, “The need for prescription undermines the right of residents in these barangays to contraceptives. In the first place, the need for prescription to purchase condoms and pills is baseless. The Bureau of Food and Drugs and even the World Health Organization (WHO) have long categorized contraceptives as over-the-counter essential medicines. Now, seemingly, these barangay officials have suddenly becomes medical experts.”
“The seven barangays of Bataan should be advised that the Ayala Alabang ordinance they are trying to copy and paste has been criticized by the Muntinlupa city council for possibly being in violation of the law and guidelines of the Department of Health. The seven barangays of Bataan are neither a republic separate from the Philippines nor a theocratic state that can draft its own rules in contradiction with the country’s laws,” Miranda elaborated.
“Prescriptions are used for drugs and medicines that may put people’s lives at risk. What health risk do condoms pose? And pills? Actually, it is highly prescribed by the WHO in preventing HIV-AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases,” said Miranda.
PM has been active in pushing for the RH bill. At present PM is holding grassroots meetings at the community and factory level on the RH bill among workers associations and trade unions. “RH is a working women’s demand,” explained Miranda.
PM further argued 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.”