ANGELITO S. OBCENA, MADem
Better and Stronger POPCOM IV – CALABARZON and MIMAROPA for 2018
Based on latest official data (2015 CPH), Region IV – CALABARZON had a total population of 14.4 million people, the biggest of all the regions in the Philippines. It has a 2.58 population growth rate, which means the region’s population will double in 2052. Due to the region’s proximity to Metro Manila, 59.7% of urbanization has taken place over the years (2010 Census of Population). With the concentration of population in urban areas, the issues in mismanaged urban areas will more likely result to dis-empowering urban poor families and communities.
Thus, the year 2018 is challenging for us. Recently, the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte has acknowledged the importance of population interventions in his policy for national development. He instructed the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law as a crucial factor in the national socio-economic agenda. Consequently, he issued Executive Order (EO) No. 12 to urgently attain zero unmet need for modern family planning.
Unmet need for family planning, as defined by the RPRH law, refers to couples and women who are fecund, sexually active and want to limit or space their children but are not using any modern method of contraception. The region’s unmet need for 2017 is 20.1 (2017 NDHS KIR).
Strengthening the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP), the EO 12 also recognizes the right of Filipinos to decide freely and responsibly on their desired number and spacing of children based on responsible parenthood and informed choice, and to access needed RH care information and services. If every Filipino family becomes well-planned, they will have a bigger chance and capability to invest for the well-being and development of each family member. Each Filipino will then become more empowered and productive, thereby achieving their ambitions.
As a response to the EO 12, POPCOM IV coordinates with local partners by mobilizing all population officers, workers and volunteers in the region to conduct demand generation activities in barangays so women with unmet need for modern family planning will be served. Other initiatives are to conduct medical missions to provide family planning information and services in different areas of the region, and hiring of Population Representatives (POPREPs) for the provinces of Batangas and Quezon to increase the number of family planning acceptors/users and to reinforce the Population Management Program in these provinces.
It is also proper to cite the following innovative activities the two (2) Regional Offices have conducted, namely:
- Conduct of the Quarterly Provincial Population Management Committee (PPMC) meetings in both regions;
- Conduct of Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) activities/interventions based on evidence-based data/information;
- Focused targeting of interventions for CALABARZON’s Top 28 and for MIMAROPA’s Top 27 LGUs with high number of adolescent pregnancies;
- Mainstreaming Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in the PPMP through partnership with the Pamayanang Mangyan Ugnayan, Inc. (PMUI); and,
- Targeting Women of Reproductive Age (WRA) in the Workplace for Demand Generation activities in collaboration with IBIDEN Philippines, Inc.
With the challenges in 2018, POPCOM IV and our program partners will continue implementing the PPMP. This is considered as an important element in attaining Ambisyon Natin 2040 and one of the main objectives of the Philippine Health Agenda, particularly the achievement of zero unmet need for modern family planning.
This website presents the different demand-generation activities and the orientations and trainings of POPCOM CALABARZON for its Local Government Units, partner agencies and civil society organizations.
Let us continue empowering Filipino families and communities!