Family planning eyed in disaster, pandemic response
Ahead of today’s start of “Population and Development Week,” PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III pushed for the inclusion of family planning in the drafting of programs related to pandemic and disaster response.
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Family planning eyed in disaster, pandemic response
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - November 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Pandemic and disaster preparedness programs must include family planning to build up the resiliency of families and communities against calamities, the Commission on Population (PopCom) said over the weekend.

Ahead of today’s start of “Population and Development Week,” PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III pushed for the inclusion of family planning in the drafting of programs related to pandemic and disaster response.

“Practicing family planning and  responsible parenthood should be part of medium- to long-term solutions toward building the resiliency of families and communities, as these would enable couples to have greater capacity to ensure their health, financial stability, and other social protections in the future,” Perez said.

When families are planned, vulnerabilities diminish and communities can overcome pandemic and natural calamities, he said.

This week, PopCom will highlight the interconnection of population factors and the pandemic.

“Our resiliency against the pandemic and other related crisis situations starts from our decision to form a family. We need to consider our preparedness and capabilities to provide each member their physical, social, emotional, and other pertinent needs,” Perez said.

As observed from trends and patterns of COVID-19 infections in the country, PopCom said community transmissions are still pervasive in cities with close congregations of people.

“Physical distancing — a critical health and safety protocol being implemented by the government — has proven to be difficult to implement among households of small residential units with an average of less than 20 sq. m., and having more than four members,” PopCom said.

PopCom is providing technical assistance to local government units (LGUs) and other institutions in addressing other population issues, such as unmanaged internal migration, which causes congestion and crowding in megacities.

Population factors, PopCom said, will help local governments plan and implement their programs, with focus on communities with demographic vulnerabilities.

“The importance of understanding and considering the demographic situation of populations in formulating development initiatives that aim to uplift lives of people and their communities, especially at this time of the pandemic and the series of natural calamities, cannot be underestimated, given the government’s limited resources,” Perez said.

PopCom’s Central Office will devote a special episode on POPDEV for its “Usap Tayo sa FP with Doc Jeepy” on Nov. 30, Monday, through its Facebook accounts @OfficialPOPCOM and @UsapTayoSaFP. Social-media campaigns with the hashtags #KilosKontraPandemya and #DoonPoSaAmin will also encourage Filipinos to share their LGUs’ activities in combatting the pandemic while uplifting the lives of their respective communities, as well as their own contributions in addressing demographic vulnerabilities.

PopCom will also conduct summits, webinars and orientations as well as press engagements on demographic vulnerabilities.

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