The Ayala Alabang Condom Ordinance
In the recent Philippine breakout news, the district of Ayala Alabang, Muntinlupa City released an ordinance stating that people will need a prescription to buy condoms and or contraceptive pills. The ordinance seeks to penalize such act of sale or purchase without proper medical prescription.
Ayala Alabang is one of the wealthiest districts in Metro Manila. The bizarre ordinance made a huge attention amongst the local media and even in the international social sites like Facebook and in Twitter. In Twitter alone, Ayala Alabang ranks within the Top 10 range amongst the most trending topics of the February 24, 2011 statistics.
In the posted bulletin of the said district, it states, “The ordinance seeks, among others, to penalize any natural or juridical person to advertise by billboards, brochures, leaflets, flyers or similar means or any manner of form, sell, offer for free or endorse, promote, prescribe or distribute abortifacients. Abortifacients as defined in the ordinance is any device, medicine, substance or practice which may damage, injure, interfere with the natural development, endanger or cause the expulsion or death of an unborn child. It includes intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal contraceptives.”
The district’s spokesperson cited the Philippine Republic Act 5921 (enacted into law on June 21, 1969) or the act regulating the practice of pharmacy in the country, which says "no drug or chemical product or device capable of provoking abortion or preventing conception shall be delivered or sold to any person without a proper prescription by a duly licensed physician."
The ordinance itself resulted to a variety of comments and reactions and the most notable came from Ms. Lea Salonga, a renowned Filipina, Broadway performer, singer and actress who stated in her Twitter, “You now need a prescription to purchase condoms in Barangay Ayala Alabang. The pill, I can totally understand, but CONDOMS??? Really???”
With the majority of Catholics and believers of the Reproductive Health bill of the country, the Condom Prescription ordinance of the district will remain peculiar for the rest of the Philippine population. Whether it was an adaptation of the original 1969 Philippine Republic Act 5921 or to simply educate the people living in Ayala Alabang, the fact still remains, that the Filipinos were given the democracy long time ago to practice and exercise their given rights and free will in all aspect without violating any law. Although this ordinance was already passed in Ayala Alabang, the rest of the country’s districts, cities and even provinces, does not control or regulate any purchase or sale of condoms and contraceptive pills which are always available over-the-counter in any pharmacy.