POPCOM intensifies demand generation activities for FP methods

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (PIA) — Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Central Luzon is intensifying its demand generation initiatives on the use of family planning (FP) methods.

POPCOM Regional Director Lourdes Nacionales emphasized that they continue to provide the correct information on FP methods to empower couples and individuals to make family planning decisions.

“Family planning, especially with the use of modern methods, is informed choice and volunteerism. This is empowerment, and we do not prescribe or impose these methods to couples. We are just providing them the right information,” she said.

She added that correct knowledge will enable couples to make FP decisions to have well-managed families.

Also, POPCOM shared that demand generation activities are more focused on couples in far-flung areas, and low-income families who are proven to register more unwanted pregnancies.

“Family planning is very important especially at this time that our population is increasing, and we are in the middle of a pandemic. There are many benefits from family planning… it could lessen the obligation of couples, and they will have the opportunity to provide access to the right nutrition, health, and education for their children,” Nacionales pressed.

Per data from the agency, only about 740,489 or 23.19 percent out of three million women of reproductive age in the region are current users of family planning methods.

Meanwhile, Nacionales underscored that local government officials should be more critical and development-oriented, and fund and implement precise programs on family planning in their localities.

“They should know the importance of investing in the development of the population. Human development programs such as health, FP is one, should be invested upon for us to achieve the demographic dividend. Through this, we can achieve the development of our communities by obtaining productivity among citizens which could lead to sustained families,” she said. 

She added that they are providing technical assistance and capacity development activities for their counterparts in the local level to influence, promote, and advocate for responsive plans for the population.

Apart from the local government officials, local population officers, and local health officers, the agency is also strengthening its partnership with national government agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector to promote family planning methods and combat the population boom in the region.