Lifting of halt order vs birth control implants sought

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 11 2016 06:38 PM | Updated as of Jul 11 2016 09:17 PM

MANILA – The Population Commission is urging the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order on licensing contraceptive manufacturers and resolve the case vs subdermal implants soon.

Popcom director Juan Perez said some licenses have already lapsed and if the SC takes no action in a year "we may start losing contraceptives being sold in the market because they will have no certification."

The licenses issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) usually have a three-year validity and the TRO has been in place for a year now.

National Economic Development Authority chief Ernesto Pernia also underscored the importance for the SC to resolve the case soon, saying the TRO's "cost in terms of maternal deaths and teenage pregnancies are huge. It can become a bigger social problem in the long run."

Pernia explained, having a huge bottom segment of the society makes the limited health and education budget spread very thinly on the population. He said if poor women do not undergo unwanted pregnancies, fewer and better cared for children can look to a brighter future and the cycle of poverty can be broken.

NEDA estimates that if married women belonging in the poorest 20% of society would limit their children to just three, it will automatically reduce poverty incidence by 1% for that year.

A case study of a mother with 9 children shows the difficulty of raising a big family. She regrets not using contraceptives and advises her married children to plan their family.