Population commission brings family planning services to household level
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Population Development (Popcom) is bringing family planning services to the household level in anticipation of a “poverty-inducing, economy-debilitating” population boom.
In a statement, the Popcom said that a population boom is expected after a crisis—for indefinite reasons—and part of the commission’s mission is to intensify the distribution of contraceptives.
The Philippines is under the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic and the country has been in a virtual state of lockdown since March.
“We saw in the past during the lifetime of our parents or grandparents the significant increase in birth rate after a major adverse event. This is the reason why family planning is even more important during our current COVID-19 crisis,” according to Dr. Juan Antonio A.Perez III, POPCOM chief.
Popcom partnered with Bayer Philippines Inc. for its mission as the company, whose global headquarters is stationed in Leverkusen in Germany, has global programs that support three of the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals.
These are—Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women, Goal 4: Reduce child mortality, and Goal 5: Improve maternal health.
Popcom is targeting at-risk communities that could experience further socio-economic deterioration due to unplanned pregnancies especially with households staying mostly at home due to the lockdown.
“Nearly one-third of a typical Filipino household budget is used up to cover the cost of the pregnancy. It leads to many families having to do with less because they have more mouths to feed. This has an aggregate impact in the economy,” said Perez.
He added that although there’s a pandemic, health services like family planning should continue since the virus will eventually serve its course.
As per the Philippine Statistics Authority, roughly one out of 10 women between the ages of 15 and 19 have begun childbearing and 17 percent of those females aged 15 to 49 want to practice family planning but don’t have access to said measures.
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