By: Cong. Karlo Alexei Nograles
Representative, Davao City, 1st District
(Privileged Speech delivered during the RH Bill Hearing, June 8, 2011)
On April 19, 1992, the Consumer Act of the Philippines, R.A. No. 7394, went into effect. According to Article II, “It is the policy of the State to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and to establish standards of conduct for business and industry. Towards this end, the State shall implement measures to achieve the following objectives: a) Protection against hazards to health and safety.”
After all, there is a clear and express constitutional mandate that: “The State shall protect consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous products,” Article XVI, Section 9 of our Constitution.
Pursuant to Article VI of the Consumer Act, it is the Department of Health, through the Food and Drug Administration, that is responsible to the public with respect to drugs, devices and substances.
Section 4 of the Consumer Act defines “drugs” to mean articles recognized in the current official United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary, official Homeophatic Pharmacopeia of the United States, official National Drug Formulary, or any supplement to any of them; and number two, articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease in man or other animals.
Among the drugs, Madam Speaker, that fall under this definition are the oral contraceptives administered to women and mothers, the injectible contraceptive Depo Provera and the so-called “morning-after pill”.