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POPCOM urges couples to avail family planning services

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) -- Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Central Luzon is encouraging couples to avail family planning (FP) services to manage projected population boom amid the pandemic.
POPCOM Regional Director Lourdes Nacionales underscored that part of the agency’s Philippine Population and Development Program (PPDP) is the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) which enables and empowers couples to make family planning decisions to have well-managed families, and ensure their personal and family needs are met.
“Our strategy is demand generation for family planning. For RPFP, we work in collaboration with DOH [Department of Health] because our local population creates the demand for FP… We have to explain it to the people, to individuals, for them to know that the government has this project, and it is for free,” she said. 
The director said correct information and informed FP choices are key in avoiding unplanned pregnancies as this would capacitate couples to ensure their health, financial stability, and other social protections toward building resilient families and communities.
Given this, POPCOM shared that family planning services for women include the oral pills, long-acting injectables, implants, intra-uterine devices, and the bilateral tubal ligation which is a permanent method.
“Even though there is a pandemic, DOH and POPCOM decided to distribute these [FP service] on a house-to-house basis. Our service providers on the ground went on the houses so that they could provide to the current users their needed supply to prevent unintended pregnancies,” Nacionales shared.
In 2019, modern contraceptive prevalence rate for all women was projected at 58 percent or around 7.8 million women as modern FP users. 
With this, it is deemed that 2.8 million unintended pregnancies; 669,000 unsafe abortions; and 1,470 maternal deaths were averted.
In addition, POPCOM is pushing for the non-scalpel vasectomy as a RPFP method for men, apart from the use of condoms.
“Remember, a man would not lose his masculinity when he get vasectomized. In fact, he will be more manly and lively because he knows that when he engages into sexual intercourse with his wife, there will be no chance of an unintended pregnancy,” Nacionales stressed.
The agency is receiving an average of five clients per day; and will again conduct a service for free on December 13.
Meanwhile, Nacionales emphasized that modern natural family planning methods require a period of counseling for couples, and communication is vital when they avail these.
“We encourage couples and individuals to consider the various methods of contraception that are suited to one’s needs and preferences… Because the government provides, all health facilities including barangay health units, and rural health units are providing these FP supplies for free,” she pressed.
The official said it is from the local government units that FP programs and services are activated, with local-based doctors, nurses, midwives, population officers, barangay health and population volunteers in health centers/service delivery networks as enablers. (MJSC/JLDC-PIA 3)

Commission on Population and Development Regional Director Lourdes Nacionales is urging couples to avail their needed and preferred family planning services to prevent unwanted pregnancies for them to have well-managed families, and ensure their personal and family needs are met. (Jag Lyra Costamero/PIA 3)

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Jag Lyra Costamero

Region 3

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