Despite the implications and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) and the Department of Health (DOH) as co-managers of the FP Program continue to provide responsive policy direction and ensure access of Filipinos to medically safe, legal, non-abortifacient, effective, and culturally acceptable modern family planning (FP) methods. The internet and online platforms were maximized in order to provide necessary information, address concerns and provide assistance.

To create awareness on the importance of the health benefits of FP in promoting the over-all health and well-being of the population, the month of August is observed and celebrated as the National Family Planning Month. In light of this, POPCOM, DOH, partner agencies and the Local Government Units scheduled various activities to which the public may participate and be involved in.

To kick-off the FP Month celebration, a Joint Health Event of DOH and POPCOM entitled “Usap Tayo sa National Family Planning Month” was conducted through zoom on August 4, 2021.

On August 6, 2021, the Baguio City Health Services conducted a Lay-Forum on Men’s Involvement in Family Planning and Healthy Lifestyle. The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health was discussed by Mr. Jahred Khan Tuason along with the introduction of the No Scalpel Vasectomy by Dr. Dandeo Halog  and Healthy Lifestyle by Mr. Michael Vincent Munoz.

“This activity updated and reminded us of the Reproductive Health Program which we can share with our Barangay Constituents, emphasizing on the need to plan for their families and have better quality of life. If we have healthy and happy families in our Barangay, there will be less concerns on hunger and family problems in our barangays”, said Mr. Richard Dalilis, Gibraltar Barangay Kagawad.

Family Planning (FP), backed up by the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, was identified as fundamental intervention in the realization of the country’s Demographic Dividend thereby contributing to the achievement of Ambisyon Natin 2040 and Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

 In 2020, the DOH Field Health Service Information System (FHSIS) reported around 8.1 million total family planning users in the entire Philippines, an increase of six percent (or 460,000 users) from last year’s report. New acceptors of FP increased by 43 percent.

In the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), total current users increased by 9 percent (or 10,871 users) in 2020. In Ifugao there’s an increase of 6 new users in every 100, 7 in every 100 in Kalinga and 53 in every 100 in Baguio City. There is also notable increase in other provinces and cities, compared to 2019.

This significant increase can be accounted to the interventions and demand generation activities undertaken by the LGUs, DOH, POPCOM as co-managers of the FP Program. In furtherance of it, the upcoming virtual Health Events are open to public. These are the, Usap Tayo Kasama ang FP Experts! A joint Dialogue with DOH and POPCOM on August 18, 2021, 2:00PM to 4:00PM; Discussion of FP Methods, Myths and Misconception on August 25, 2021; FP Tele-Counselling on August 23 to 27 and a Photo Contest to run from August 16 to 24, 2021.

More information on how to join the activities will be posted in POPCOM-CAR website and Facebook Page.

Be informed and involved even at the comfort of your homes, amidst restrictions and challenges brought by the COVID-19 Pandemic. #