BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 21(PIA) - - The government is pushing for the intensified implementation of the National Population and Family Planning Program(NPFPP) to address the unmet needs of women, including teenagers and adolescents, that hinder family/community growth and the country's progress.
Commission on Population and Development Executive Director USEC Juan Antonio Perez III in his talk in the POPCOM Region 2 Population Congress at Albergo Hotel here Monday, bared that the country's fertility rate stands at 2.7 percent, the third highest among Asian countries and still far to the 2.1 percent target that will ensure economic dividend for the country.
In managing the population growth, Perez explained the need to address the family planning needs of mothers. Survey shows that there are around 11.3 million mothers who want to maintain a certain number of child or put spacing to children but only between 6 to 7 million have access to family planning service particularly on modern contraceptives.
Teenage pregnancy is also a growing population management concern, wherein the government already declared a national social emergency given that 2018 data showed that around 530 19 years old and below female give birth every day, Perez stressed.
Much more alarming is adolescent girls (10 to 14 years old) giving birth. In 2018, the number already breached the 2,000 mark, Perez added.
For the NPFPP, Perez disclosed that with the NEDA at the helm, POPCOM and the Health Department will work hand in hand in partnering with the local government units in identifying the unmet reproductive health and family planning needs of mothers and teenagers down to the barangay level so that responsive programs and services can be directly delivered to them.
The government will be will be investing under the program around P3.3 billion each year or over P10 billion from 2020 to 2022, Perez said.
A key component of the program is the commitment of LGUs to strengthen their local population and development office as well as in the organization of one to two PopDev volunteers in every barangay.
The unmet needs of mothers will always be a concern and varies each time and in every barangays so community - based distribution of their modern contraceptive needs and service delivery network is very important, Perez explained.
He also discloses that the national government is also pushing for laws that will help reduce adolescent pregnancy, assure the designation of local population development office and the mandatory personnel, as well as for the designation of barangay volunteers for population management work.
All these efforts are geared towards the government's goal of "Maunlad, Matatag, Maginhawa at Planadong Pamilyang Pilipino" and to strengthen the country's global competitiveness. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)