MANILA - The Department of Health (DOH) should wait for a ruling from the Supreme Court before resuming the distribution of contraceptives, a senator opposed to the reproductive health law said Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said clearance that the Food and Drug Administration recently issued for 51 contraceptives does not warrant immediate distribution, adding that the agency should wait for an actual ruling from the High Court.
"Kailangan munang ideklara ng Supreme Court na lifted [ang temporary restraining order]," said Sotto.
He said it would be better for the FDA to submit its findings to the Senate committee on health.
"Magandang magkaroon sa committee on health... Sa Amerika o sa ibang bansa, iba 'yung sinasabi ng findings nila e, hindi nagtutugma sa atin," he added.
The Supreme Court earlier issued a temporary restraining order on the registration, procurement and distribution of contraceptives Implanon and Implanon NXT, then considered to be abortifacients.
The court said it could not lift the TRO prior to the summary hearing to be conducted by the FDA on the safety, efficacy, purity, quality, and non-abortiveness of the contraceptive implants.
On Sunday, after months of reevaluation, the FDA re-certified Implanon, Implanon NXT and 49 others as non-abortifacient or drugs that cannot cause abortions, prompting the DOH to resume distribution of the contraceptives.
"With the FDA's issuance of the advisory declaring all of the 51 contraceptives to be non-abortifacient or cannot cause abortion, it is now all systems go for us to fully implement the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health [Act]," said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. --report from Sherie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News