CA denies pro-life group's petition vs contraceptives

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 11 2018 11:45 PM

MANILA - Pro-life group Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines, Inc. (ALFI) has failed in its bid to stop the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from certifying 51 contraceptives as safe and non-abortifacient.

The Court of Appeals junked ALFI's petition for failing to exhaust all administrative remedies before elevating the case to the appellate court.

In a 5-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the CA Special 17th Division said “petitioner should have filed the appeal with the Office of the President” before proceeding to the courts in its bid to nullify 51 separate resolutions issued by the regulator.

The CA said that Republic Act No. 9711, also known as the Food and Drug Administration Act, and Executive Order No. 247, which prescribes guidelines for biological and genetic resources, state that actions of the FDA may be appealed with the Department of Health (DOH), and thereafter with the Office of the President in the event of an adverse ruling.

The case stemmed from separate certifications issued by the FDA in December 2017 in favor of 51 contraceptives including Implanon and Implanon NXT, which were also subject to a separate petition, also lodged by ALFI, before the Supreme Court. 

While the case was pending, the high court halted the efficacy of Implanon and Implanon NXT’s re-certifications from the FDA issued in 2015. 

In November 2017, the high court said its temporary restraining order on Implanon and Implanon NXT were deemed lifted “after compliance with due process and upon the promulgation of the FDA” that these injectable contraceptives are found non-abortifacient.