A secret maternity clinic in Malabon was discovered to have been operating without permits.
Authorities and city hall personnel found this out when they raided the Tonsuya Health Center, following several complaints received against the birthing center located at the second floor of the health center building at the corner of A. Roque and Perez Streets.
Lea Aricayos, 41, a barangay worker and a licensed midwife was arrested. She had just assisted and helped a mother give birth before she was picked up by the joint team on August 8.
According to Aricayos, mothers are charged P1,200 for their childbirth and delivery. The money reportedly goes directly to the barangay; however, the person responsible for receiving the payments was not disclosed.
“Probers will invite Barangay Tonsuya chair Pol Ombas for questioning on allegations that the payments derived from the clandestine operation of the [birthing center] were all remitted to the barangay,” the city hall’s statement said as cited in an Inquirer story.
“Who are benefiting from this underground maternity clinic is a question that probers would like to find out,” it added.
Malabon Public Information Chief, Bong Padua said this practice should not be allowed as it poses danger to mothers and infants. He added that there were women who died in the past while giving birth in centers and clinics which were not licensed to operate.
The secret birthing clinic is located in an alley surrounded by vacant lots which makes it difficult to notice, said Padua.
He also depicted the place as a filthy and stinky maternity clinic without proper ventilation making the room not conducive for birthing.
Padua also clearly stated that the operation of a maternity clinic without license is a violation of Ordinance A12-2016 or the Ordinance Regulating Private Lying-in Clinics in Malabon.