20 November 2017

The Phil. Gov't. Resumes Contraceptive Distribution

The Department of Health (DOH) will start including implants in the family planning commodities being distributed to its regional offices after the Food and Drug Administration certified 51 contraceptives as non-abortifacient or cannot cause abortion.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said they are ready to distribute 261,000 implants, within 10 months, to civil society organizations and local government units as they fully implement the Reproductive Health Law.

"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," Duque said in a press conference last 16 November.

Among the 51 contraceptives re-certified by the FDA are Implanon and Implanon NXT. Procurement and distribution of these have been halted following a temporary restraining order by the Supreme Court, pending re-certification.

Dr. Juan Antonio Perez, executive director of the Commission on Population, said some implants are expiring in September 2018 and they have to prioritize distribution of these products.

"Most of the implants in Manila warehouses are due to expire September 2018. There are others due to expire in March 2019. We'll be prioritizing distribution of Manila-based implants," he said.

Perez said family planning services and commodities are for free and the public may access them through government health centers.