THE Commission on Population (Popcom) on Friday, December 13, assailed Senate President Vicente Sotto III for pushing for the removal of the budget allocation for the purchase of progestin subdermal implants (PSI) by the Department of Health (DOH).
In a statement, Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said it is unacceptable for Sotto to have the P195 million budget for PSIs scrapped as it does not have any scientific and legal basis.
"The action of the Senate President is regrettable since there is no scientific basis for its removal. There is no new evidence that PSIs are abortifacients,” Perez said.
"The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has likewise not declared it as contrary to the provisions of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law," he added.
In contrast, Perez said removing the ability of the DOH to purchase more PSIs will ensure its failure to comply with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.
He noted how the DOH currently has only about 190,000 in PSI stock and is projected to run out by the middle of 2020.
"The President has approved the intensified implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning," he said.
"Any action to reduce the current underfunding will be contrary to the Chief Executive’s stated priorities on population matters," Perez added.
Earlier, Sotto bared his decision to cut the DOH’s budget by P195 million, the amount allotted for the procurement of Implanon and Implanon NXT implants.
Sotto said the budget cut was necessary as he believed that PSIs are abortifacients and should, therefore, be made unavailable to the public. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)