THE Department of Health (DOH) officially endorsed Monday the online petition aiming to gather one million signatories for the lifting of the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the certification of contraceptives issued by the Supreme Court (SC) back in June 2015.
In a press conference for the first National Family Planning Conference, DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Francia Laxamana said they are calling on Filipinos to help convince the SC on the need to lift the twin TROs immediately.
"The standing TRO on the Certification of Modern Methods of Contraceptives issued by the Supreme Court is one of the roadblocks ahead. We hope to gather one million signatures so that the Supreme Court will now lift the TRO. This is our unified Call to Action," said Laxamana.
Since the online petition was posted over Change.org three weeks ago, there are currently 514 signatories to the online petition.
One of those that expressed support for the lifting of the TRO is former president Fidel Ramos, who admitted to being a long-time advocate of the reproductive health (RH) law.
"It is from my own family experience that I have long been an advocate of RH... it is our determination to remove this final hurdle or have the TRO lifted by the SC," said Ramos, who attended the conference in Quezon City.
Another ranking government official that expressed support to the petition is Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, who is the principal author of the RH Law.
Last June 2015, the SC issued twin TROs against the popular progesterone subdermal implant (PSI) as well as to stop the Food and Drug Administration from the re-registration of contraceptive commodities.
For his part, Commission on Population Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III reiterated that it is imperative that the TRO is lifted by the SC in order to allow the full implementation of the RH Law of 2012.
“Currently, there are 209,000 teen pregnancies in this country. That is more than 500 a day. And the situation has been the same since 2011. So, for the last four to five years, we have over a million teen pregnancies in this country,” lamented Perez.
And if the TRO remains in place by 2018, he warned that the number of teenage pregnancy could even become worse.
“At the end of 2018, there will only be four or five contraceptives in the market that the DOH and local governments can buy and that limits the chances for meeting family planning needs. The cost of the remaining contraceptives will also be higher than before,” said Perez.
Interested individuals may sign the online petition via https://www.change.org/p/supreme-court-of-the-philippines-an-appeal-to-the-supreme-court-to-lift-the-tro-affecting-family-planning. (HDT/Sunnex)