Population and Development Integrationpopdev

Responsible Parenthood/Family Planningrpfp

Adolescent Health and Youth Developmentahyd

Gender and Development gender and developmentgad


A. Population Policies and Programs

A.1. National laws

The PPMP draws its policy primarily from Article XV, Section 3.1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which clearly states that "the state shall defend the right of the spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood." This Constitutional guarantee implies the responsibility of the State to provide an enabling and protective environment for couples to exercise this right. The demands of responsible parenthood further imply the right of couples to have their desired timing, spacing and number of children in accordance with their capacity to provide the well-being and development of their family.

Republic Act 6365 (The Population Act of the Philippines) in 1971 as ammended by Presidential Decree 79 in 1972 translates the Constitutional provision into an operative law. These population policies explicitly provide that "for the purpose of furthering the national development, increasing the share of each Filipino in the fruits of economic progress, and meeting the grave social and economic challenge of high rate of population growth," the government shall undertake "a national program of family planning involving both public and private sectors which respects the religious beliefs and values of the individuals involved." These laws likewise established the Commision on Population as the main planning, coordinating, and implementing agency for the population policy and program in the country.

The recently enacted Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710) is a comprehensive women's human right law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognizing, respecting, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino Women, especially those in the marginalized sectors. And among these rights, the law provides for the recognition and promotion of women's right to health (Section 17). It explicitly provides for the provision of comprehensive, culture-sensitive, and gender-responsive health services covering all stages of a woman's life cycle and which address the major causes of women's mortality and morbidity.The law further provides for the access of women to the following services:

  1. Maternal care to include prenatal and postnatal services to address pregnancy, and infant health and nutrition.
  2. Promotion of breastfeeding.
  3. Responsible, ethical, legal, safe and effective methods of family planning.
  4. Family and State collaboration in youth sexuality education and health services wwithout prejudice to the primary right and duty of parents to educate their children
  5. Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, including sexuality transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV and AIDS.
  6. Prevention and management of reproductive tract cancers like breast and cervical cancers, and other gynecological conditions and disorders
  7. Prevention of abortion and management of pregnancy-related complications
  8. In cases of violence against women and children, provision of comprehensive health services (including psychosocial, therapeutic, medical and legal interventions and assistance towards healing, recovery and empowerment) to the women and children victims and survivors.
  9. Prevention and management of infertility and sexual dysfunction pursuant to ethical norms and medicals standards.
  10. Care of the elderly women beyond their chilbearing years.
  11. Management, treatment and intervention of mental health problems of women and girls.
The law also specifically guarantees the provision of comprehensive health information and education on all aspects of women's health in goverment education and training programs, with due regard to
  1. The natural and primary righ and duty of parents in the rearing and development of the moral character of the youth, and the right of children to be brought up in an atmoshpere of morality and rectitude for the enrichment and stregthening of character.
  2. The formation of a person's sexuality that affirms human dignity.
  3. Ethical, legal, safe, and effective family planning methods including fertility awareness.
Section 17 [(2)(iv) and (3)(v)] of the Local Government Code of 1991 provides for the provision of basic services and facilities to inlude family planning (for municipality) and population develoment services (for provinces) as part of the social welfare sevices in local goverment units (LGUs). The magna carta of women likewise emphashizes the LGU's role in promoting women's health, particularly in the provision of services mentioned above.

Other relevant policies and programs provide policy support to some key components of the population management program. Among these are:

  • the urban and Development Housing Act of 1992 wich set up an effective mechanism for monitoring trends in population movement;
  • and PD 965 which mandates all would-be-couples or those applying for marriage license to recieve instruction on family planning and responsible parenthood before they are issued a licenses.

A.2. The Population program in the Administration's development agenda

The current population policy is likewise aligned with President Aquino's five-point position on responsible parenthood, which stresses the following policies:

  1. Non-inclusion of abortion as a means of responsible parenthood.
  2. Giving couples the right to choose how to manage their families so that in the end, their welfare and that of their children are best served.
  3. The state must respect each individuals right to follow his or her conscience and religious convictions on matters and issues pertaining to the unity of the family and the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.
  4. In a situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged, are in no position to make an informed judgement, the state has the responsibility to so provide.
  5. In the range of options and information provided to couples, natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented as equally available.

B. The PPMP Goal and Objectives

In response to the population and related issues previously identified, the PPMP seeks to achieve this long-term goal:

To Contribute to improving the quality of life of all Filipinos through responsible parenting, better health and education, attainment of population outcomes that are in harmony with available resources and sustainable environmental conditions, and reduction of poverty and inequalities in human development opportunities.

The PPMP goal is supported by the following specific objectives:

  1. To help couples/parents and individuals achieve their desired timing, spacing and number of children through responsible parenting; and to contribute in improving maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition (MNCHN) conditions.
  2. To promote positive and responsible sexual behaviors and effective life skills among adolescents to enable them to avoid too early sexual involvement, unintended and too early pregnancies, early marriages, and sexually transmitted infections, and the undesirable impact of these on their well-being.
  3. Contribute to policies and programs that will help government to attain a well-managed population and well-planned families resulting in population outcomes that facilitate sustainable socioeconomic and human development.

These goals and objectives constitute the current population management policy that will guide relevant initiatives at the national, regional and local levels.This direction seeks to provide the main raodmap through which all efforts and resources for population management at all levels wil flow.

C. The Demographic Scenario:Expected Outcomes for Family Planning and Other Resulting Population Indicators

Population Policy: The Philippine Population Management Program is guided by the policy that is the couple's responsibility to decide on the number of their children in accordance with their religious belief, demands of responsible parenthood and sustainable development.

Population (2010) 88.57M 1,520,743
Population Growth Rate (2010) 2.04% 1.5%
Total Fertility Rate (1998) 3.3% 3.6%
Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (1998) 50.7% 54.9%
Unmet Need for Family Planning (1998) 22.3% 16.5%

The region's total fertility rate (TFR) based on the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey is 3.6%. Contraceptive prevalence rate is at 54.9%, and unmet need for family planning is at 16.5%.

How can POPCOM contribute in improving the local population and health situation?

By virtue of its mandate, through the 3 components of the Population Program namely:

  1. Reproductive Health/ Responsible Parenthood/ Family Planning;
  2. Population and Development Integration; and
  3. Adolescent Health & Youth Development (AHYD)

POPCOM aims to assist:

  • Lower the population growth rate from 2.04% (2007 census) to 1.4% by 2015
  • Lower total fertility rate from 3.6 children per woman to 2.7 by 2015
  • Achieve contraceptive prevalence rate of 61.3% by 2015

D. The PPMP Key Strategies

To achieve its goals and objectives, the PPMP will undertake, through its stakeholders, the following major strategies (which will be discussed in more detail in succeeding chapters):

  1. Generating demand for and ensuring universal access(accessibility, availability and affordability) to all medically safe and legal family planning information, methods and services to help couples/parents plan their families.
  2. Promotion of male participation/involvement in responsible parenting and family planning (RF/FP) within the context of gender equality and equity.
  3. Sustaining and broadening acceptance of responsible parenting as a social norm through community organization and other participatory strategies (e.g., Responsible Parenting Movement, community-based volunteers).
  4. Provision of age-approriate,gender-sensetive and value-laden human sexuality and reproductive health education and information for adolescents and youth through formal and nonformal educational and communication strategies and sytems.
  5. Equipping and educating parents with appropriate information and skils in communicating to and guiding their adolescents children on sexual and reproductive health issues and concerns.
  6. Enhancing the capacities of program stakeholders and local population structures in designing,advocating and implementing population management concerns, and in integrating these concerns in policy and program development.
  7. Intensifying and sustaining multi-media campaigns and interpersonal communication strategies (behavior change communication, social mobilization, information, education and communication, and advocacy) to create demand for population management programs and concerns.
  8. Broading/stregthening alliances and networks with program stakeholders:LGUs, NGOs, business community, academe, media, and faith-based organizations, among others to create institutional support for the PPMP.
  9. Tracking the implementation of the ICPD objectives and targets at all levels and utilizing the monitored information to inform and influence public policy and program development at appropriate levels.
  10. Strengthening, utilizing, and efficiently managing the knowledge base on population and development for policymaking, planning, and program development through continous conduct of scientific researches and studies.
  11. Mobilization of resources and investments for the population program at the national and local levels.
  12. Improving the policy environment for population management at the local level through local ordinances, executive issuances, and budgetary allocation.
  13. Establishing and sustaining an efficient and consolidated monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the PPMP and utilizing the data to inform further population programming and policy development.

E. The PPMP Guiding Principles

The implementation of the strategies of the PPMP shall beguided by the same principles that the country's population policy adheres to:

  1. The right to make free and informed decision, which is central to the exercise of any right, shall not be subjected to any form of coercion and must be fully observed in the implementation of program strategies.
  2. Gender equality and women empowerment, while ends in themselves, are also a central element of the population management program.
  3. Abortion shall not be included as a means of responsible parenthood.
  4. The population program shall give couples the right to choose how to manage their families so that in the end, their welfare and that of their children are best served.
  5. In situation where couples, especially the poor and disadvantaged, are in no position to make an informed judgement, the State has the responsibility to so provide.
  6. In the range of options and information provided to couples, natural family planning and modern methods shall be presented as equally available.
  7. The active participation of concerned government agencies, nongovernment organizations, LGUs, civil society, and sectoral organizations shall be engaged as a crucial means to ensure the achievement of the goals and objectives of the population management program.

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