Monday Oct, 14 2019 06:33:09 AM

1,600 LGUs enjoined to intensify family planning program through local population officers

GOVERNANCE/POLITICS • 21:00 PM Sat Jul 20, 2019
News Release
Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III

The directive of President Duterte to intensify the implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP) gained the support of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Secretary Eduardo Año released last July 8, 2019 Memorandum Circular 2019-100 that enjoins the appointment and designation of Local Population Officers in all 1,600 local government units (LGUs). The memorandum also mandates the mobilization of barangay and community officials and volunteers to support the said national program.

The memorandum emphasizes the critical role of LGUs in ensuring the delivery of the full range of family planning information and services especially among the  marginalized and undeserved population.

Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, the Executive Director of the Commission on Population and Development said that “The POPCOM greatly appreciates DILG for this policy support. The appointment and designation of local population officers and mobilization of community officials and volunteers augurs well for the national objective of promoting family planning towards the reduction of poverty by 2022.”

“The organization and mobilization of community volunteers and workers are crucial in bringing FP services and information closer to the people, ensuring that quality supplies are accessible through service providers and all possible access points, aside from health facilities”, he said.

POPCOM Chair and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Dr. Ernesto Pernia and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque have also been very vocal in their support on the operation and existence of Local Population Offices nationwide as they provide the structure and necessary manpower to ensure that all Filipinos have access to responsible parenthood and reproductive health information, enabling Filipino couples, especially the poor, to have their desired number and spacing in the context of informed choice.

Both secretaries penned their support with the signing of the Joint  Memorandum  Circular for NPPFP on February 15, 2019 during the POPCOM Board of Commissioners’ meeting in NEDA, Pasig.

The NPPFP was revitalized to address the challenge of addressing adequately the needs of the growing population in the country today. The FP program was officially launched in 1969 through Executive Order 171, and institutionalized as a national policy then through Republic Act 6365 and Presidential Decree No. 79. Fifty years later, the program will be strengthened to enable more Filipinos to access FP services and speed up impact to social and economic development in a wider scale.

This move is apt as POPCOM is set to recognize outstanding Population Officers in the population program, dubbed as Kaunlarang Pantao Award, inspired by the early population and development works of Rafael M. Salas, who is also internationally known as “Mr. Population”.

This memo circular is in compliance to the Executive Order No. 12 entitled “Attaining and Sustaining Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning” issued by President Rodrigo Duterte. The order mandates the DOH, POPCOM, DILG, and other relevant agencies, including local government  units  (LGUs),  to  attain  and  sustain  zero  unmet  need for Family Planning.

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