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Anticontraceptive bid junked by CA

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 06:03 AM June 13, 2018

A prolife group has failed again to convince the Court of Appeals (CA) that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should be barred from certifying 51 contraceptives as safe and nonabortifacient due to a legal technicality.

In a five-page resolution, the appeals court’s Former Special 17th Division said the Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines Inc. (Alfi) should have brought the issue first to the Office of the President (OP) before it filed a petition for review.

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It said that no less than the Supreme Court had ruled on a similar case that the proper administrative remedy in challenging the FDA’s decision was to elevate it to the OP.

“We deny the petitioner’s motion for reconsideration for failure to exhaust administrative remedies,” the appellate court said in its June 1 ruling written by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela.

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Not pointless

The court did not give weight to Alfi’s argument that applying the doctrine of exhausting administrative remedies would be pointless since President Rodrigo Duterte had publicly ordered the full implementation of Republic Act No. 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

It said that Section 32 of Republic Act No. 9711, also known as the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009, and Section 9 of Executive Order No. 247 both stated that the orders issued by the FDA might be appealed to the Office of the Secretary of Health.

As part of the proper administrative process, the appellate court said the decision of the health secretary might then be brought to the OP for review.

In 2015, the Supreme Court had stopped the Department of Health from buying, distributing and promoting contraceptive implants after Alfi questioned the supposed abortifacient effects of brands Implanon and Implanon NXT.

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TAGS: contraceptives, Court of Appeals, FDA, Reproductive Health Act
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