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Cover Letter Sangguniang Brgy Letterhead

Cover Letter Sangguniang Brgy Letterhead

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Published by: Mulat Pinoy-Kabataan News Network on Sep 09, 2011
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 Asserting Women’s Human Rights
EnGendeRights, Inc.
88-A Calumpit St., Veterans Village, Quezon City, 1105, PhilippinesTel. No. (632) 376-2578, engenderights@pldtdsl.net, www.engenderights.org
September 6, 2011TO:
Sangguniang Barangay Cupang ProperSangguniang Barangay Cupang West
 
Sangguniang Barangay Puerto Rivas Ibaba
 
Sangguniang Barangay Puerto Rivas ItaasSangguniang Barangay Puerto Rivas LoteSangguniang Barangay TortugasSangguniang Barangay Tanato
RE:
Position Paper on the Unconstitutionality of Seven Barangay Ordinances thatProhibit Contraceptives in Balanga, Bataan
Dear Sangguniang Barangays:
EnGendeRights, through the undersigned counsel,
 
respectfully submits the attachedposition paper and its annexes to the Sangguniang Barangays to declare the seven barangayordinances that prohibit contraceptives unconstitutional. These ordinances are thefollowing:a)
 
Barangay Cupang Proper Ordinance No.004, Series of 2011;b)
 
Barangay Cupang West Ordinance No.08, Series of 2011,c)
 
Barangay Puerto Rivas Ibaba Ordinance No. 09, Series of 2011;d)
 
Barangay Puerto Rivas Itaas Ordinance No. 01, Series of 2011;e)
 
Barangay Puerto Rivas Lote Ordinance No. 03-01, Series of 2011;f)
 
Barangay Tortugas Ordinance No. 03, Series of 2011;g)
 
Barangay Tanato Ordinance, Series of 2011The attached Position Paper is being submitted to stop the grave violations of women'shuman rights resulting from the enactment of the seven barangay ordinances in Balanga,Bataan that prohibit contraceptives.These seven barangay ordinances penalize the sale, promotion, advertisement, andprescription of modern contraceptives including hormonal contraceptives and intrauterinedevices (IUDs), prohibit barangay funds to be used for the purchase or provision of suchcontraceptives, prohibit barangay officials from soliciting, accepting, or dispensing suchcontraceptives, penalize business enterprises by declaring void their barangay permits forviolating the provisions of the ordinances, penalize the conduct of sex education to minorstudents if this is done without prior consultation and written permission of the parents,
 
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Asserting Women’s Human Rights
EnGendeRights, Inc.
88-A Calumpit St., Veterans Village, Quezon City, 1105, PhilippinesTel. No. (632) 376-2578, engenderights@pldtdsl.net, www.engenderights.org
and solely promotes the so-called natural family planning method (NFP) in the sevenBalanga barangays.The provisions of the seven barangays in Balanga, Bataan can be struck down for beingultra vires, prejudicial to public welfare, unconstitutional, inconsistent with existing lawssuch as the Local Government Code of 1991, Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710),Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act of 1998 (RA 8504), and for violatinginternational laws.The ordinances prohibit rights that are constitutionally guaranteed. The ordinancesinfringe on the rights to reproductive health, equal protection of the law and privacy byunduly restricting access to legal, safe, and effective methods of contraception. Theseordinances contribute to the unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths related topregnancy, childbirth, and unsafe abortion which could be averted with increased accessto modern contraceptives.The ordinances passed by the seven barangays erroneously define contraceptives asabortifacient. This definition is not based on medical science but on the barangayofficials’ conservative religious beliefs. The constitutional guarantees on separation of church and state and non-establishment of religion prohibit using conservative religiousbeliefs as basis for crafting our laws. Public officials must enact laws that ensurewomen’s right to life and health and public health and not those that aid religion. Asdecided by our Supreme Court, our standard in law should be secular standard and notreligious standards. All these constitutional guarantees are there to maintain public goodand uphold human rights.Our laws should take into consideration international human rights standards, realitieswomen face, public health, and medical science. Public officials should work towards ahumane society where no woman should die from pregnancy, childbirth, and unsafeabortion. Good governance demands ensuring the right to control one’s fertility withproper access to information, supplies, and services on reproductive health includingmodern contraceptives and sexuality education.In light of the obligation of the Philippine government to protect women’s rights toequality, non-discrimination, life, and health under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Magna Carta of Women,it is imperative that the abovementioned Sangguniang Barangays junk theseunconstitutional ordinances.Policy makers and service providers have the duty to uphold women’s right to health andlife. There being no rational basis and no medical and scientific evidence to prohibitaccess to modern contraceptives, the Sangguniang Barangays must immediately junk saidordinances. Once the seven ordinances are junked or overturned, any attempt to enforce

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