Thursday, February 24, 2011

Imagine going to a drug store to buy condoms and the pharmacist asks you to present a written doctor's prescription for making love with your wife. Sounds like a joke, but in the surprisingly overly conservative city of Alabang, it is a reality. An absurd and sort of unnecessary order (which could be prevented with an open mind and further education) that renders RH supporters like me baffled.

First off, where in the world do you find a self-respecting physician to prescribe you condoms? And further more, do they want an S2 License Number with that unbelievable amount of one-tracked mindedness?


MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City is now requiring people who buy condoms to present a doctor’s prescription.

In a barangay ordinance last January 3, village officials said condoms and other contraceptives cause abortions.

The ordinance also bars teachers, reproductive health advocates, and social workers from holding sex education activities in the barangay without prior consultation with parents of students.

Local officials also banned advertisement of all forms of contraceptives in the village.

They said “contraceptive pills, hormonal contraceptives, and the IUD may kill children and injure the health of women who use them.”

Village officials also believe that contraceptives “undermine the solidarity of families by promoting premarital sex, giving rise to more fatherless children, more single mothers, more poverty, and more abortions.”

The resolution also claims that condoms are “unconstitutional” because “they promote and sanction immoral sexual congresses among the unmarried and especially among the young, thereby contradicting the Constitutional injunction that the State ‘shall promote and protect … the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of the youth.”

Aside from asking people to present a prescription before they are allowed to buy condoms in Ayala Alabang, pharmacists are required by the ordinance to record the following data in a book for “abortives and anti-conceptionals":

- Number and date of the prescription; 
- Name and address of the physician; 
- Name, quantity and manufacturer of the drug; 
- Name and address of the purchaser; 
- Date of filling the prescription; and 
- Signature of the pharmacist filling the prescription. 

Those who will violate the ordinance can be fined up to P500 or jailed for up to 4 months.

Village officials said foreigners who will violate the measure should also be deported.

Muntinlupa City officials have yet to comment on the ordinance.

I have already shared my opinions about my utmost support for the passing of the RH bill and my current exasperation about the views of the Catholic Church with regards to the use of contraceptives. I am especially concerned about how they are spreading half-truths and even whole lies under the cloak of holiness and virtuousness but that's another story. 

But here is the truth for all you people still in limbo about taking the heavenly/holy/fantasy route or the seemingly evil yet realistic drive. In a nutshell:
  • Condoms prevent unintended pregnancy.
  • Condoms are the only protection against Sexually Transmitted Infections including HIV/AIDS.
  • Condoms virtually has no side-effects (unless one is extremely allergic to rubber) as it is not ingested nor put inside the body. Okay, I take the last part back.
Hilarity aside, for those who are willing to take the responsible, anti-disease, anti-untimely pregnancy, pro-family planning route, just go to your nearest health center, or any Mini Stop or 7/11 branch, they have a variety of choices near the counter. Stir and enjoy.


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