General & Misc

CA junks Plea vs FDA Certification of 51 Contraceptives

Date: 12 June 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippine News Agency

MANILA, June 12 (PNA) - The Court of Appeals (CA) junked the motion for reconsideration filed by pro-life group Alliance For the Family Foundation Philippines, Inc. (ALFI) seeking to stop the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from certifying 51 contraceptives as safe and non-abortifacient.

“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,” read the five-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Nina Antonio Valenzuela, the CA’s Former Special Seventeenth Division.

The CA did not give credence to the claim of ALFI that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies is not applicable considering that an appeal with the Office of the President would be futile considering the pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte to fully implement the Reproductive Health Law by distribution of modern contraception, including contraceptive drugs and devices.

The appellate court explained that according to Section 32 of Republic Act 9711 (Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009) and Section 9 of Executive Order No. 247 (Prescribing Guidelines and Establishing A Regulatory Framework for the Prospecting Biological and Genetic Resources, their By-Products and Derivatives, for Scientific and Commercial Purposes, and For Other Purposes), the orders, rulings and decisions of FDA are appealable to the Secretary of Health and the latter’s decisions may be appealed to the Office of the President.

Likewise, the CA noted the Supreme Court (SC) resolution dated on April 26, 2017 in the case of ALFI, et al, v. Garin, has ruled that FDA decisions need both be appealed to the Secretary of Health when the latter is a party to the case.

Instead, the SC held that the proper recourse is appeal to be filed with the Office of the President.

“Applying the Supreme Court pronouncement in the Garin case to this case, since the Executive Secretary is not a party in this case, the remedy to question the 51 FDA resolutions is to file the appeal with the Office of the President, and not via petition for review with this Court,” the CA pointed out.

It can be recalled that the FDA issued resolutions in December last year re-certifying as safe and non-abortifacient a list of 51 contraceptives, paving the way for the implementation of one of the key measures of the Reproductive Health Law.

Included in the list are implants like Implanon and Implanon NXT; injectables like Protec, intrauterine devices Mirena and Securit-T; and pills or oral contraceptives like Estrelle, Daphne, Yasmin, and Nordette, among others.

The move effectively lifted the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court in 2015 which nullified the certification and re-certification earlier issued by the agency FDA covering contraceptive drugs and implants due to the failure of the DOH to observe and comply with the basic requirements of due process.

The Court held that the FDA certified, procured and administered contraceptive drugs and devices, without the observance of the basic tenets of due process, without notice and without public hearing, despite the constant opposition from ALFI.

The SC directed the FDA to formulate rules of procedure in the screening, evaluation, and approval of all contraceptive drugs and devices that will be used under Republic Act No.10354, otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

It should contain, according to the Court, the minimum requirements of due process such as publication, notice and hearing; allowing interested parties to intervene; strictly following the standard laid down in the Constitution and RA 10354 as to what constitute allowable contraceptives should be followed, that is, those which do not harm or destroy life of the unborn from conception/fertilization; and in weighing evidence, all reasonable doubts should be resolved in favor of the protection and preservation of the right to life of the unborn from conception/fertilization.

The Court also tasked the DOH in coordination with other concerned agencies to formulate the rules and regulations which will govern the purchase and distribution of contraceptives covered by the certification from the FDA that said product and supply will not be used as an abortifacient.

The health department was also directed to come up with the complete and correct list of government reproductive health programs and services under RA 10354 which will serve as the template for the complete and correct information standard and to distribute the same to all health care service providers covered by the said law.

Notice: The Publishers of Asean LIP acknowledge the permission granted by the relevant official/ original source for the reproduction of the above/ attached materials. You shall not reproduce the above/ attached materials in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the Publishers and/or the original/ official source. Neither the Publishers nor the official/ original source will be liable for any loss, injury, claim, liability, or damage caused directly, indirectly or incidentally to errors in or omissions from the above/ attached materials. The Publishers and the official/ original source also disclaim and exclude all liabilities in respect of anything done or omitted to be done in reliance upon the whole or any part of the above/attached materials. The access to, and the use of, Asean LIP and contents herein are subject to the Terms of Use.

Get ASEAN LAW ALERT

Legal updates by e-mail. It's Free.

INDUSTRY UPDATES

SC allows Media Coverage of de Lima Drug Case Trials

MANILA, Oct 17 (PNA) - The Supreme Court (SC) allowed news coverage of Senator Leila de Lima’s trials for alleged drug trading activities before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

House supports Placement of Migrant Workers through One Channel

Jakarta, Oct 16 (ANTARA News) - Chairman of the House of Representatives` (DPR`s) Commission IX Dede Yusuf supported the placement of Indonesian migrant workers through the One Channel Placement System (SPSK) agreed upon by Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Industry 4.0 to put Indonesia among Top 10 Economies

Jakarta, Oct 17 (ANTARA News) - The fourth industrial revolution, also known as industry 4.0, is expected to make Indonesia one of the top 10 economies in the world in 2030, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Government encourages SMEs to go Digital

Jakarta, Oct 16 (ANTARA News) - The government encourages national small and medium enterprises or SMEs to take advantage of the digitalization era by using online networks to expand their businesses.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

WIPO Director General Conferred the Order of Sikatuna

World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Director General Dr. Francis Gurry has received the highest Presidential honour of diplomatic merit in recognition of his extraordinary efforts to sustain and strengthen WIPO’s relations with the Philippine government, through the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

PH Ambassador Promotes ASEAN Trade, Tourism in Spain

MADRID, Oct 16 (DFA) - To raise awareness about ASEAN and promote ASEAN trade and tourism in Spain, Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe J. Lhuillier and the other ASEAN Ambassadors in Madrid paid a courtesy call on the Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade, and Tourism Maria Reyes Maroto Illera.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

BOC, PCG Ink MOA for Strengthened Joint Anti-Smuggling Operations

The chiefs of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Coast (PCG), on Monday, October 15 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which provides them guidelines in the conduct of anti-smuggling joint operations within the country’s borders.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

PH Showcases Best Practice on Anti-Poverty

NEW YORK, Oct 12 (DFA) - The Philippines underscored the crucial need to use the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) as an alternative measure of poverty during the High-level side-event on “Using the Multidimensional Poverty Index to guide innovative policies in all its dimensions” held on the sidelines of the 73rd Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly High Level Week held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 25 September 2018

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

21 Law Firms vow to create more chances for Young Lawyers

Twenty-one law firms, including Drew & Napier and Tan Rajah & Cheah, have pledged to provide more opportunities for young lawyers to represent their clients in court.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Thailand hosts ASEAN Disaster Assessment and Mitigation Training Course

BANGKOK, Oct 16 (NNT) - Thailand is hosting the latest ASEAN training course on regional disaster assessment and mitigation to ensure timely assistance, and enhance the reach and capability of the region’s relief efforts.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Del Castillo to head JBC Search for Next CJ

MANILA, Oct 16 (PNA) - Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo will sit at the helm of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in screening aspirants for the vacancy in the Supreme Court (SC) following the retirement of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, JBC ex-officio member and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Tuesday.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

SC reorganizes Three Divisions as Hernando assumes Post

MANILA, Oct 16 (PNA) - The Supreme Court (SC), under Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio, has reorganized the membership in its three divisions following the entry of its newest member, Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Non-infra Programs face Cancellation if Oil Excise Tax suspended

MANILA, Oct 15 (PNA) - Some of the Duterte administration's non-infrastructure expenditures scheduled for 2019 face possible cancellation if the implementation the oil excise tax's second tranch is put on hold due to soaring world crude prices, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

SIAC signs Memorandum of Understanding with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) to promote international arbitration as a preferred method of dispute resolution for resolving international disputes.

Read More

INDUSTRY UPDATES

Duterte will ‘definitely’ Order Oil Excise Tax Suspension

MANILA, Oct 15 (PNA) - Malacañang on Monday confirmed that President Rodrigo R. Duterte will soon order the temporary suspension of the second tranche of excise tax on fuel, but has yet to decide whether it will heed a senator's suggestion to suspend it "now or sooner."

Read More