Issue of November 3, 2019
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Intensified FP programs proposed
by Carlito C. Dar / PIA

The government is pushing for the intensified implementation of the National Population and Family Planning Program (NPFPP) to address the unmet needs of women, including teenagers, that hinder family/community growth and the country’s progress.

Commission on Population and Development Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III in his talk in Baguio City said that the country’s fertility rate stands at 2.7 percent, the third highest among Asian countries and still far from the 2.1 percent target that will ensure economic dividend for the country.

In managing population growth, Perez cited the need to address the family planning needs of mothers. He said survey shows that there are around 11.3 million mothers who want to maintain a certain number of children  or put spacing to children but only between six and seven million have access to family planning services, particularly on modern contraceptives.

Teenage pregnancy is also a growing population management concern. The government already declared a national social emergency given that 2018 data showed that around 530 females 19 years old and below give birth every day, according to Perez.

Records of adolescent girls between 10 and 14 years old giving birth are also alarming. In 2018, the number already breached the 2,000 mark, Perez added.

Perez said that with the National Economic Development Authority at the helm, the PopCom and the Department of Health will work together in partnering with the local government units in identifying the unmet reproductive health and family planning needs of mothers and teenagers down to the barangay level so that responsive programs and services can be directly delivered to them.

The government will invest around P3.3 billion each year or over P10 billion from 2020 to 2022 for the program, Perez said.

A key component of the program is the commitment of LGUs to strengthen their local population and development office as well as in the organization of one to two population development volunteers in every barangay.

Perez said the unmet needs of mothers will always be a concern. It varies each time and in every barangays so community-based distribution of their modern contraceptive needs and service delivery network is very important.

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