Pro-Life Philippines condemns Php 3,000 PhilHealth allocation for contraceptive implant package
Philhealth’s Subdermal Contraceptive Package as given in PhilHealth Circular No. 38 Series of 2015
In a recent interview in Vertitas, Pro-Life Philippines President Eric Manalang condemned PhilHealth Circular No. 38 of 2015 mandating the allocation of Php 3,000 for subdermal contraceptive implant package for Filipino women. This package covers the following:
- Consultation and counseling prior to the procedure
- Performance of the procedure including professional fee and use of the facility
- Medicine and supplies including the contraceptive implant
- Follow-up and counseling after the procedure
“Itong gagawin ng PhilHealth ay labag sa batas,” said Eric Manalang who is also the founding president of Ang Pro-Life Partylist. “In this case, we are reiterating the recognition of the start of Life. There should be no contraceptives that have action either primarily or secondarily as an abortifacient or tertiary.” Eric Manalang warned that Philhealth should stop this program; otherwise, they will go to Supreme Court to question the program’s legality.
In its decision regarding the RH Law, the Supreme Court already ruled that contraceptives that may have abortifacient effects, even if not directly intended, should not be allowed. These contraceptive implants releaseschemical hormones into the blood that have been shown to lead to various complications such as blood clots.
Last 2014, the DOH under Secretary Janette Garin already planned to purchase contraceptive implants for 600,000 Filipino women at the cost of Php 5,000 per implant, with Php 4,500 shouldered by the Gates foundation and Php 500 by the Philippine government. But this is only for the first 3 years, because the implant must be removed after 3 years. After this, the Philippine government has to shoulder the whole amount if it wishes to continue the contraceptive implants program.
But recently, DOH learned that its Php 1 billion budget for contraceptives was slashed in the 2016 Government budget. Senator Loren Legarda explained that the the budget was realigned for the purchase of air assets for the military amid tensions in West Philippine Sea, the increase in the budgets of state colleges and universities, and the health facilities and medical assistance to indigent patients. Senator Tito Sotto also added that the Supreme Court has stopped the distribution and sale of contraceptive implants: “Supreme Court TRO is the basis for the cuts in contraceptives and injectables. Besides, [Commission on Audit] says the budget for those have been misused.”
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