The regional office of the Commission on Population and Development-VII participated in the Midterm Review with the Central Office last January 13-15, 2020 at Aztoria Plaza in Pasig City led by Executive Director Usec. Juan Antonio A. Perez III, MD. MPH, and Deputy Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon. The team from Central Visayas headed by Regional Director Atty. Bruce N. Ragas joined close to a hundred other representatives from all the regions in the country despite the ash falling from Taal Volcano. POPCOM discussed its deliverables by probing into its targets, success indicators and strategies as reflected in the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP) translated in POPCOM’s Philippine Population Management Program Directional Plan (PPMP DP). The 2017-2022 PPMP DP takes off from the vision of the present administration’s over-all goal of empowering Filipino families.

The vision is reaping the fruits of an empowered population through the demographic dividend which is articulated in Chapter 13 of PDP 2017-2022. First requirement is to achieve low fertility or fewer and longer-spaced births in the demographic transition. Second is ensuring the population’s good health through universal health care, education, capacitated and skilled labor force. And third is having enough opportunities for people to be productive, with more jobs and opportunities for investment and bigger incomes.

POPCOM data of the 2019 total Philippine population is 109 million representing about 1.4% of total world population. It intends to achieve that by 2022 there will be at least 11 M Filipinos who are acceptors of Family Planning (FP). The inter-agency approach continues to reap accomplishments in achieving this goal. The PPMP Strategic Framework is in full swing with its three (3) streams: Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP); Adolescent Health and Development (AHD), and Population Development (POPDEV) Integration with gender and development (GAD) across each stream. Executive Order No. 100 was signed last December 17, 2019, otherwise known as “INSTITUTIONALIZING THE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PROGRAM, CREATING AN INTER-AGENCY COMMITTEE ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.” This is part of the gender-based Agenda on diversity.

Now into its full implementation of the RPRH Law with RPFP in focus where couples may go beyond traditional FP and proceed into modern FP methods, the program has also linked demand generation and has strengthened its data and knowledge base. The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10354, also known as the Reproductive Health Law or RH Law guarantees universal access to methods on contraception, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care.

With AHD, the intent is to bring down adolescent birth rate at 50%-reduction in 2020 and at 25%-reduction by 2022. The program is intensifying its link with the Department of Education (DepEd) for school-based linkages, as well as improving its communication strategies, mobilizing Information Support Development Networks (ISDNs), campaigning for advocacy and building capacities. For POPDEV Integration, the program sees to it that institutions that address this specific concern are provided with assistance and data are also monitored. There are researches being done to update relationships of population development with internal migration, understanding socio-economic profiles and internal relations with LGUs with environment variables and addressing concerns of special population groups, such as teenage mothers.

The concern for teenage mothers has recently been declared as a national emergency situation considering that in 2019 the age has gone down as early as ten (10) years old. Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2013 revealed that one in ten young Filipino women age 15-19 has begun childbearing: 8 percent are already mothers and another 2 percent are pregnant with their first child according to the results of the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey.

POPCOM data showed that about 500 teenage girls give birth in the Philippines every day as more adolescents engage in premarital sex, raising concerns about early and unplanned pregnancies in the world’s 13th most populated country. Teenage pregnancy rate in the country declined to 8.7 percent in 2017 from 10.2 percent in 2016, but the number still remains high. Some 196,000 Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 19 years old get pregnant each year. The teenage pregnancy rate in Asia’s lone Catholic-dominated country remains high, as 30 percent of youngsters engaged in premarital sex in 2017, 10 percent higher than in 2016. Filipino teens exposed to vice or the internet at an early age, usually end up with unplanned pregnancies. There were at least 2,000 10 to 14-year-old Filipinos who were pregnant in 2017 which is 200 cases more than in 2016.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) foresees a 1% growth rate or PGR by 2025. DOH also wants to improve public health and that this is sustained. The building of capacity for service providers, such as the LGUs is also a focus of POPCOM’s NPPFP. Seventeen (17) cities in the country are seen to provide social protection on cases of teenage pregnancy which is recently considered as an issue of national emergency with pregnant teenagers at the age of ten (10) . With POPDEV integration, it is seen that LGUs are able to develop demographic and socio-economic database for planning or program development. This is also interpreted in the light of the Local Government Code.

Some highlights of the Midterm Review are the results of the two (2) workshops conducted with over 100 participants from all over the country focusing on the three (3) major workshop groups on POPDEV Integration, AHD and RPFP. The 1st workshop discussed the impact, outcome, output, and input in view of the actual level of results and indicators based on the source of data or means of verification, and evaluating whether or not these indicators are to be deleted or enhanced. Workshop two (2) focused mainly on the inputs or strategies that will be implemented in view of targets. The reports were collated to bring out the major agreements and understanding of what needs to be revised and what needs to be sustained.

Overall, the agreement was that the regions are to study what are the best strategies that may be sustainable in their respective areas in view of their linkages with the LGUs and other partners. This will provide space and creativity at the base and in the field. The greater goal in the end is that by 2022, the LGUs will have the capacity to move forward and attend to the PPMP Agenda with the help of POPCOM and other partners. (30)


Press Release No.   1-2020
Release Date: January 29, 2020

Contact Person:
Maria Lourdes A. Garillos
Information Officer II- IMCU
Tel.No. 236-4963
Email Add: maloualorro@yahoo.com
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