Sen. Pia Cayetano fumes over scrapping of contraceptives budget

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Sen. Pia Cayetano says her office will look into the matter which she considers "totally unacceptable."

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Shocked.

This was Sen. Pia Cayetano's reaction on Thursday (January 7) upon learning that the budget for reproductive health and contraceptives had been slashed by P1 billion for this year.

Cayetano, who was a principal sponsor of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, was indignant and lamented that she was not informed about the budget cut, citing a breach of trust with some of her colleagues.

"I am shocked... We work on a basis of trust — that the Chair of the Finance committee would not make significant changes without informing the body, or in the case of RH, no major changes will be made without informing me, knowing that I sponsored the measure."

The lawmaker said she had constantly watched over the developments of budget deliberations — asking for details and amendments which were not readily available yet then.

"As of this time, my office is looking into this because this is totally unacceptable," Cayetano said as she ended her statement.

No money for condoms, pills

On Wednesday, January 6, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Janette Garin confirmed that there was no more budget alloted this year for contraceptives. This, despite a mandate by the RH law to provide for such allocations.

Garin said Congress took out the billion-peso amount for free condoms and birth control pills, and that the DOH would just look for donors to fund the program.

Meanwhile, Malacañan Communications Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma Jr. said also on Thursday that it was leaving it up to the DOH to answer issues surrounding the scrapping of funds for contraceptives.

CNN Philippines' Patricia de Leon contributed to this report.