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City dad pushes for free period hygiene products for indigents
This is the contention of Councilor Raul Alcoseba as he pushes for an ordinance that would make it mandatory for the city to provide its indigent residents these products for free.

City dad pushes for free period hygiene products for indigents

Sanden J. Anadia (The Freeman) - April 10, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Access to period hygiene products like sanity napkins and tampons is a basic human right, which is as important as access to clean water and food.

This is the contention of Councilor Raul Alcoseba as he pushes for an ordinance that would make it mandatory for the city to provide its indigent residents these products for free.

The proposed ordinance entitled, “An Ordinance Providing Free Period Hygiene Products For Qualified Indigents in Cebu City” reads:

“Menstruation is intrinsically related to human dignity – when people cannot access safe bathing facilities and safe and effective means of managing their menstrual hygiene, they are not able to manage their menstruation with dignity. Menstruation-related teasing, exclusion and shame also undermine the principle of human dignity.”

“Gender inequality, extreme poverty, humanitarian crises and harmful traditions can all turn menstruation into a time of deprivation and stigma, which can undermine their enjoyment of fundamental human rights. Lack of access to the right menstrual products may lead to greater risk of infection,” it reads further, citing a report of the United Nations Population Fund.

“Non-access to period hygiene products may lead to infections and other health effects,” Alcoseba said.

The City Council’s Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling is now reviewing the proposal.

Alcoseba said “period hygiene products” refer to sanitary napkins, tampons, liners, cups, and similar items used by individuals with respect to menstruation.

The Cebu City Health Department shall determine the quality and provide standards for these products before distribution to qualified recipients.

The proposed ordinance also states that indigent school students, specifically those in elementary and high school, as well as female detainees, will also get the supplies. Girls in in orphanages and halfway homes will also be given.

“The DSWS (Department of Social Welfare and Services) shall ensure the distribution and accessibility without charge of period hygiene products to prisoners in the custody including detainees in all police station,” Section 4 of the ordinance reads.

“DSWS in coordination with Barangay Health Workers will identify all qualified indigents in their respective barangays who will be provided with free period hygiene products,” Section 6 reads.

Certification

To avail of the items, the recipient must have a certification from DSWS proving that she is an indigent.

To get the certification, the recipient shall submit to an interview by DSWS to determine her eligibility. Upon verification of the application, the required Certificate of Indigency shall be issued to the applicant and her name shall be included in the master list of qualified indigents for monitoring, the proposed ordinance states.

Once approved, DSWS will craft the implementing rules and regulations in consultation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DOH).

DSWS will also have to include the hygiene products in the budget it proposes annually. — JMO (FREEMAN)

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