Free period and hygiene products for indigents being pushed in Cebu City
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Free period products for qualified indigents in Cebu City is being pushed in the City Council.
Councilor Raul Alcoseba has filed an ordinance that seeks to provide free sanitary napkins, tampons, liners, cups, and similar items used by individuals with respect to menstruation to indigents in the city.
He said that 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.
“Qualified indigents who cannot afford period hygiene products should also be given close attention by providing free period products so that she can be a productive resident or constituent of our society,” said Alcoseba.
In the councilor’s proposed ordinance, the City Health Department (CHD) and City Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Health (DOH) will work together in the implementation of the ordinance, should it be passed.
The agencies will identify the qualified indigents defined by the proposed ordinance as an individual certified by a barangay to be a resident or a registered voter in Cebu City, including their qualified child or children, and certified by the DSWS of Cebu City.
The hygiene products that will be distributed include sanitary napkins, tampons, liners, cups, and similar items, the quality and standards of these will be determined by the CHD for purposes of this ordinance.
The beneficiaries would include indigent students in all public schools in the city, indigent incarcerated individuals and detainees, orphans in orphanages or halfway homes, and indigent residents in barangays.
For an individual to be qualified for free period hygiene products, a certification issued by the DSWS Office must be presented, attesting that an individual is an indigent resident of the city.
For purposes of the DSWS certification, the applicant shall submit herself for 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.
DSWS shall provide the appropriate simplified guidelines in the application for a certificate of indigency and the keeping of updated records of qualified indigents who may avail of free period hygiene products and how and where to claim the free period hygiene products.
The budgetary requirements for purposes of the ordinance shall be included by the DSWS of their annual budget.
Should this ordinance be passed, the City of Cebu will be among the first local government unit in Cebu to provide free hygiene products to menstruating individuals.
The ordinance is currently being reviewed by the council’s Committee on Laws.
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