MANILA, Philippines – More than 300 residents of Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa, including internationally renowned singer Lea Salonga, staged a rally on Saturday to show their solid voice in opposing a local ordinance which involves the use of condoms.
The residents trooped to the Ayala Alabang gate at the corner of Commerce and Madrigal Avenues to protest Ordinance No. 1 which restricts the sale of contraceptives without a doctor’s prescription.
"Tutol kami sa ordinansang ito. Walang sinuman ang maaaring magdikta sa kaninuman tungkol sa desisyong ito. Naglalarawan ng kaignorantehan ang mga lumikha ng ordinansang ito," Ayala Alabang resident and former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said.
Cabral is worried that other local government units might issue the same ordinance similar to what they have.
Last March 28, 7 barangays in Balanga City in Bataan province have already issued ordinances that ban the sale of condoms without a doctor's prescription.
"Kailangan nang magdesisyon ang City Council ng Muntinlupa para patayin na ang ordinansang ito at hindi na pamarisan," she said.
"As a citizen of this peaceful barangay, I oppose this ordinance," said Salonga.
The singer said she chose to live in Ayala Alabang because it is a harmonious community but she is really “disappointed with this ordinance.”
Salonga clarified that although she is a Reproductive Health (RH) advocate, she considers this a separate issue.
Other Ayala Alabang residents who supported the demonstration are business leader Pete Wallace, artist and tour guide Carlos Celdran, and other NGO groups.
"There should be a separation of church and state," said Wallace.
Beth Angsioco, national chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, was also there. She is known for her blatant support for the RH bill. – Report from Abner Mercado, ABS-CBN News