Philippine village requires prescriptions to buy condoms

Thursday, February 24, 2011

MANILA - An upscale village in the Philippine capital has issued an ordinance requiring prescriptions to purchase condoms, a spokesman said Thursday.

The village council of Ayala Alabang in Manila passed the regulation “providing for the safety and protection of the unborn child” Jan 3.

It requires stores to ask for a prescription before selling condoms and birth control pills. It also prohibits the advertisement and promotion of contraceptives.

“If you want to buy a condom, you need a prescription from a physician with the name of the doctor and the patient on it,” said attorney Luis Sison, village spokesman.

“Pharmacies cannot just sell condoms among the soap and the shampoo and vitamins,” he said. “It has to be sold behind the counter.”

Violators face a fine of up to $115 and imprisonment of one to six months.

Condoms and birth control pills are usually available over the counter in the Philippines.

The ordinance was issued amid intense debate over a proposed law that would mandate the government provide all forms of family planning to couples, including contraceptives.

The bill has become a controversial initiative in Congress because of the strong opposition of the Catholic Church against any government efforts to promote artificial contraception.

The Philippines has one of the fastest population growth rates in South-East Asia at more than 2 percent annually. The current population is estimated at 94 million.

Filed under: Medicine, World

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