MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals junked a petition filed by pro-life group Alliance For the Family Foundation Philippines, Incorporated (ALFI), which sought to stop the Food and Drug Administration Authority (FDA) from certifying 51 contraceptives as safe and non-abortifacient.
Associate Justice Nina Antonio Valenzuela of the CA’s former Special Seventeenth Division said the pro-life group should have first appealed to the Office of the President instead.
“We deny the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The petitioner should have filed the appeal with the Office of the President to assail the 51 resolutions of the FDA,” it said.
In a 5-page resolution Valenzuela said orders, rulings, and decisions of the FDA may be first appealed to the Secretary of Health, and afterwards the Office of the President.
In AFLI’s case, because the group filed a case against then-Health Secretary Janette Garin, the CA highlighted a 2017 Supreme Court ruling which said FDA decisions did not need to be appealed to the Secretary of Health, as she was party to the case.
In its petition, ALFI said it could not appeal the FDA’s decision with the Office of the President because President Rodrigo Dutere announced he would fully implement the Reproductive Health Law.
The appellate court, however, maintained proper recourse would be to file an appeal with the Office of the President.
In December 2017, the FDA re-certified as safe and non-abortifacient 51 contraceptives including, among others:
- implants such as Implanon and Implanon NXT
- injectables such as Protec
- intrauterine devices Mirena and Securit-T
- pills or oral contraceptives such as Estrelle, Daphne, Yasmin, and Nordette
In doing so, it effectively lifted a 2015 temporary restraining order issued by the SC, paving the way for the implementation of measures in the Reproductive Health Law. (RH Law: The long and rough road)
In September 2017, the SC said made final and executory its TRO on contraceptive implants but said it would be lifted once the FDA ruled they were safe and non-abortifacients. – Rappler.com
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