Yayoy pushes for doleout of hygiene products to indigents in Cebu City

CEBU City Councilor Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba wants the City to provide free sanitary napkins, tampons, panty liners, and other hygiene products for qualified indigents.

In a proposed ordinance before the City Council, Alcoseba described access to period hygiene products as a basic human right that is “as important as access to clean water or food.”

“The limited access of the indigent to sanitary napkins and other hygiene products for menstruation should be addressed by the City Government,” said Alcoseba.

“Qualified indigents who cannot afford period hygiene products should also be given close attention by providing free period products so that she can also be a productive resident or constituent of our society,” Alcoseba said.

For an indigent to be eligible for the free hygiene products, the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS) will have to interview the person and issue a certificate of indigency, according to Alcoseba’s proposal.

For her to be qualified, the person must also be a voter of Cebu City.

Alcoseba introduced the draft ordinance on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

Under his proposal, the DSWS will be the lead agency to implement the measure in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), barangays, and schools.

Alcoseba proposed that free period hygiene products be distributed to indigenent individuals in public elementary and secondary schools, prison facilities (including those detained in police stations), orphanages or half way homes, and in the barangays.

Funding for the program will be taken from the DSWS annual budget, Alcoseba said.

If the proposed ordinance is approved, the DSWS, in consultation with the DOH, will be tasked to submit to the Council the program’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

The proposal was referred to the committee on laws for review. (JJL)