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PopCom: No more hitches in family planning program
PopCom regional director for National Capital Region Lydio Español said that after the Marcos administration, the country did not have a strong family planning program because of the opposition of the Catholic Church to contraceptives.
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PopCom: No more hitches in family planning program

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - March 31, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Population (PopCom) is hopeful that the implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP) will take off, this time without much resistance from the Catholic Church.

PopCom regional director for National Capital Region Lydio Español said that after the Marcos administration, the country did not have a strong family planning program because of the opposition of the Catholic Church to contraceptives.

This resistance has resulted in the filing of petitions and issuance of temporary restraining orders (TROs) by the Supreme Court on the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law in 2012 and the use of contraceptive implants Implanon and Implanon NXT in 2015.

Español said these legal impediments are now removed since the TROs have been lifted.  

Aside from this, the Duterte administration is keen on implementing population programs.  

“We now have a very conducive political environment for the full implementation of the RPRH law,” Español said.

He expressed belief that the Catholic Church would be more open now since the government is promoting both the modern and natural family planning methods. 

“We are working together on natural family planning methods. They are happy working with us. Many of the dioceses are working with PopCom on the natural family planning,” Español added.

Goals

Recently, PopCom re-launched the NPPFP, which aims to increase the modern contraceptive prevalence rate (MCPR) from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2022. 

This means that currently, there are two million babies being born annually, 200,000 of them being delivered by mothers aged 18 and below.

Español said that if the target is achieved, it would mean that some 11.3 million women are using “modern and effective” family planning methods.

He said by raising the contraceptive usage rate, some 4.11 million unintended pregnancies would be averted, 2.42 million abortions prevented and 2,160 maternal deaths avoided by 2022.

Español urged local government units to support the implementation of RPRH law as they are mandated under the measure. 

COMMISSION ON POPULATION FAMILY PLANNING
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