Transitions into 2016
2015 has been a year full of challenges and transitions. This year has been the last year of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This is also the last full year of implementing the current Philippine Population Management Program Directional Plan (PPMP-DP) under the current administration. 2015 is also the year of the Population Census in which we will see where the Philippines stands as to population growth and what our moves will be to address all concerns. This is also the last full year of President Benigno S. Aquino III as we shall be having presidential elections in May next year.
It has started with the discussions on the 2030 Population and Sustainable Development Agenda which will officially start implementation in 2016. The wheels are now in motion to attain the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which is very crucial as PopCom positions the implementation of the PPMP to achieve what has not been accomplished in the MDGs.
This marked the end year of the Aquino administration’s implementation of the PPMP-DP. As we move forward and face the challenges of a new administration, it is important that we assess the PPMP’s contribution in the development goals of inclusive growth and sustainable development. We have intensified the PPMP implementation through aggressive advocacy and communication campaigns which lead to changes in perspectives and behaviors among partners and clients. This translated to major accomplishments in attaining targets, creation of local policies, and additional financial and manpower support.
This year also saw the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law or RA 10354 wherein PopCom played a significant role as co-chair with the Department of Health and secretariat to the National and Regional Implementation Teams.
In our Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) Program, the Regional Population Office has again exceeded targets and lodged a 164.25% accomplishment in delivering Family Development Sessions (FDS) and Pre-marriage Counselling (PMC). A total of 16,773 couples have been reached in all provinces and cities in the region from January 2015 to November 2015. This is mainly due to the efforts of our Population Program Officers and Workers in the Local Government Units. The region had a total of 559 Classes conducted using the Sub-module 2.2 of the FDS and the PMC module on Responsible Parenthood. This keeps CAR in the highest accomplishment rates among regions in conduct of the FDS and PMC since 2014.
The region has also accomplished covering 75.2% of unmet needs identified in profiling of couples in CAR. Out of 2286 couples who wanted to start using family planning or wanted to shift to modern methods, 1721 of them were provided services through the efforts of local population and health offices.
We have also doubled our efforts in the conduct of U4U Teen Trails in the region. The Regional Population has reached 4, 210 teens through 25 Teen trails with trainings and activities conducted by partners from schools, population offices and Civil society organization partners. These Teen Trails have also trained 475 teen facilitators on key messages and information related to adolescent development and sexual health. This surpasses the 2,155 teens reached in 2014. We have also made great steps to institutionalize the Teen Trail by devolving trainings and conduct of activities to our local Population Offices. The Province of Ifugao and Baguio City have made progress and completed many Teen Trails with their own resources.
The Commission on Population has also launched the Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD) National Film Festival which focuses the creative energies and skills of youth in creating entertaining, informative and inspiring films about themselves and the issues they face. This year the region has been represented by Pines City National High school in Baguio City with their film #JanBie. We are very proud of the work created by these young minds and we hope to see more talents emerge in the years to come.
In Population and Development Integration on the other hand, we have trained our partners in the LGU on use of the Spectrum software for Population and Development analysis. This will allow our planning and development partners to make scientific projections on key population and demographic factors and make accurate plans in the future. We are in the process of creating a unified Resources for the Awareness of Population Indicators in Development or RAPID models using the projections made by our LGUs.
This year is a step in the right direction for the Commission on Population-CAR. We are seeing an even better year in 2016 in terms of making more happy, healthy and well-planned Cordilleran families. Regardless of the changes that might happen after the 2016 elections, we pledge continued service to all our clients in CAR.
The PopCom-CAR Family wishes everybody a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2016!