MANILA, Philippines?Officials of Barangay Ayala Alabang in Muntinlupa City face either suspension or dismissal from their posts should they insist on enforcing a controversial ordinance opposing the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, Mayor Aldrin San Pedro told the Inquirer on Monday.
?Based on the Local Government Code, enforcing the ordinance, which has not yet been approved by the city council, is enough grounds for sanctions,? he said.
?There are certain procedural lapses that still need to be sorted out,? San Pedro added. ?But what is clear is that the ordinance cannot be enforced at this point.?
Under Barangay Ordinance No. 1, also known as the ?Protection of the Unborn Child Ordinance of 2011,? a person who wants to buy contraceptives from stores in the area should first present a prescription from a doctor.
The city council, however, remanded it to the barangay level, citing some portions that may be seen as an infringement of human rights. It also asked the barangay officials, through a letter, to clarify certain provisions.
?But they did not respond to it. Apparently, they [will] just let the 30-day period pass, probably thinking of the rule that an ordinance [will] lapse into law if the city council does not act on it. But how could the city council have acted on it if they did not respond to the letter it sent to them in the first place?? San Pedro said.
According to him, the ordinance must be reviewed and approved by the city council first before it can take effect.
?It has also [affected] the [performance] of our barangay health workers who are supposed to be implementing programs on family planning,? San Pedro added.
The mayor said he had called for a meeting with the barangay officials this week ?to sort things out.?
The Inquirer tried to reach Barangay Ayala Alabang chair Alfred Burgos for comment but was told by a member of his staff that he was in a meeting.