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On eve of Nat’l Family Week, PopCom vows to shield Filipinos from pandemic woes

/ 06:30 PM September 18, 2020

Logo of the Commission on Population and Development.

MANILA, Philippines — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the globe, a lot of families have been affected both economically and physically with industries forced to either close down shops or enforce layoffs.

And on the eve of the National Family Week, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) said that the government must work together toward shielding families from the ill-effects of the pandemic.

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“All families, regardless of their socioeconomic standing, are experiencing unprecedented changes in their ways of life because of the challenges posed by COVID-19,” PopCom chair and Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said in a statement.

“We need to preserve the institution of the Filipino family from elements that put pressure on its stability, especially those posed by the deadly disease,” he added.

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But despite the pandemic’s negative impact on society as a whole, PopCom said that the stay-at-home and telecommuting policies, imposed to avoid mass coronavirus transmissions, present various opportunities for the Filipino family.

One of which is to discuss matters not openly talked about, like sexuality, responsible parenthood, and family planning — all of which can help avoid a population boom while the pandemic is still around.

Previously, PopCom was expecting two million live births this year, with 214,000 of these most likely unplanned as couples spend more time together due to lockdown.

According to Perez, these seemingly small efforts will go a long way as avoiding pregnancies, especially teenage pregnancies, during the pandemic would mean not adding further burden to the already weary healthcare systems, which are focused on fighting COVID-19.

“While the situation imposed by COVID-19 is unique in itself, forcing family members to stay at home, it should be a welcome opportunity for them to forge stronger bonds, and also break barriers to discuss matters and topics which before presented discomfort and unease, such as sexuality, responsible parenthood, family planning, and the like,” Perez explained.

“(We should) remain vigilant on violent incidences, especially on women and children, that can lead to sexual abuse and, worse, add on to the statistics of teenage pregnancies,” he added.

The 28th National Family Week is scheduled to run from September 21 to 27.  During the celebration, various programs would be held online to help educate people on how to maintain a healthy family, protected from the hazards of the coronavirus infections.

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“DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and POPCOM will commence this year’s NFW with a symbolic ringing of bells by the heads of partner agencies on September 21 at 9 a.m. through online audio-visual presentations,” PopCom said.

“Several government institutions will also harness the reach of their social media pages by posting and sharing daily infographics on ways families can cope with Covid-19, encouraging them to maximize their free time to strengthen bonds indoors as the pandemic takes place,” it added.

JPV

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TAGS: 2019 Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, Commission on Population and Development, count, COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, Department of Health, GCQ, general community quarantine, lockdown, lockdown babies, nCoV update, Philippine news updates, Popcom, pregnancies
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