Ubial expects TRO on implants to be lifted by September
MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will issue by the end of September its findings on all contraceptives, including implants covered by a 2015 Supreme Court (SC) temporary restraining order (TRO).
"The TRO will be lifted once FDA has determined that implants and other contraceptives are non-abortifacient. It is expected that by the end of this month, FDA will issue its findings on all contraceptives and certifications will be issued accordingly," Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said in a Commission on Population (PopCom) statement on Monday, September 4.
The PopCom issued the statement days after the SC made final and executory its TRO on implants – contraceptives which can prevent pregnancies up to 3 years.
In its clarification on Monday, the PopCom said the TRO "has not become permanent," and that the SC merely noted that the health department and the FDA must now comply with the High Court's April 26 decision.
The April 26 decision noted that the TRO would be deemed lifted if, after compliance with due process, the "questioned drugs and devices are found not abortifacient" by the FDA.
"Once the TRO is lifted, the people can be assured that the provisions of the [Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health] Law will be implemented without restraints and in full compliance," Ubial added.
The health secretary again assured the public that supplies of contraceptives may still be accessed through rural health units, partner hospitals, and non-governmental service providers.
The PopCom had earlier hoped the SC will lift the TRO "within the year."
Back in May, the agency said only 23 contraceptives remain available for the public this year as a result of the TRO. – Rappler.com