Duterte OKs all-out family planning program implementation
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the full and intensified implementation of the country’s National Program on Family Planning, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the program would provide 11.3 million women with modern contraceptives.
Panelo said Duterte’s approval came after Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Executive Director of the Commission on Population and Development Juan Antonio Perez III presented the plan during the 35th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang.
“The approval of the aforesaid plan is expected to reduce poverty incidence in the country, which currently has the highest fertility rate and fastest growing population in the ASEAN region, from the current 20% to 14% in 2022,” he said in a statement.
Aside from poverty reduction, Panelo said, “the plan equally aims to promote better health and socioeconomic development among Filipinos.”
“We understand that a great majority of Filipinos favor family planning but not all of them have access to contraceptives due to various reasons,” added Panelo.
“The key strategy is the use of effective modern contraceptives where 11.3 million women would be given access to over the next four years. The aim is to increase the usage thereof from 40% to 65%. This is seen to prevent 4 million unintended pregnancies and 2 million cases of abortion over the said period,” he said.
The government, he added, is “ready to respond and help those who wish to undergo family planning.”
Duterte signed in 2017 an executive order intensifying access to modern family planning amid a Supreme Court temporary restraining order (TRO) on some provisions of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RPRH Law). / gsg
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