President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued Executive Order No. 12 entitled Attaining and Sustaining “Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning” through the Strict Implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act on January 9, 2017. The EO mandates that all poor households with unmet need for family planning would have been assisted on their FP needs by 2018. It also identifies the roles and responsibilities of partner agencies in the process.

The Commission on Population (POPCOM) was directed through the EO to assist couples and women to achieve their desired family size and to reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy through implementation of the Philippine Population Management Program.

With this, the agency has rolled out the order by visiting all provinces in the region from March to April to update implementing partners in the field. Implementing partners include are members of the Responsible Parenthood Movement (RPM) Teams and Pre-Marriage Counselling (PMC) teams specifically Municipal Population officers or designates, Social Welfare Officers, Health Officers and Barangay Population Volunteers were updated on the targets and strategies related to EO No. 12.

The targets include serving all unmet need for modern family planning based on POPCOM’s online database. The order also aims to reduce teen pregnancies in the country, a very real problem in the Cordilleras.

The strategies to attain these targets are:

  1. The conduct of house-to-house visits conducted together with Community Health Teams of the Department of Health,
  2. Allocating more time of Responsible Parenthood Classes on discussing Family Planning benefits and various methods. With this, an enhanced module and teaching aid has been produced and disseminated to partners during the orientation, and
  3. Improving Male Involvement Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning, this intends to have more men advocating the program and participating in Family Planning.

POPCOM will continue to update its online database on RPFP, which at present has 2,195,312 couples and women of reproductive age, and monitor unmet need for modern FP and the status of contraceptive use in the country in close coordination with DOH.

Executive Order no. 12 is the reiteration of this current administration’s commitment to fulfilling the promise of the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning. POPCOM and its partners will remain steadfast in achieving its Population and Development Goals. In 2016, POPCOM-CAR and its local government unit partners was able to profile 22,858 women of reproductive age and linked 964 couples to health facilities for their family planning services.