TACLOBAN CITY- Through a memorandum circular issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), local government units are enjoined to appoint and designate their local population officers as well as the mobilization of barangay and community officials and volunteers to support the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP).
The memorandum emphasizes the critical role of LGUs in ensuring the delivery of the full range of family planning information and services especially among the marginalized and undeserved population.
Commission on Population and Development VIII (Popcom VIII) Regional Director Elnora Pulma said that LGUs are their prime partners in ensuring that the NPPFP and other population management strategies can be effectively implemented in the respective locality.
“Population must be recognized as a principal element in long-range planning if the government is to achieve its economic goals and fulfill the aspirations of its people,” she said.
Creating a population office is not mandated, reason why several LGUs in the region do not have such an office or designated population officer.
However, with the memorandum circular issued, provinces, cities and municipalities without existing Local Population Office is mandated to designate local population officer or coordinator with a regular plantilla item.
Presently in Region 8, the provinces of Leyte and Samar have local population offices with population officers, while the other provinces have designated local population officers either under the Provincial Health Office or the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office.
Meanwhile, the seven cities in the region all have local population officers, four of which have created city population offices.
Municipalities in the region have yet to designate their own population officers or coordinators.
Under the DILG memo, among the roles and functions of the appointed or designated local population officer or coordinator include coordinating with local departments or offices including the barangays for the planning and conduct of critical strategies for the full implementation of the program on population and family planning which is community based.
Also, they need to mobilize community workers to map and locate couples and individuals with unmet need for family planning and conduct community-based demand generation and referral activities and sure provision of quality modern family planning information and services guided by the principle of informed choice and voluntarism.
The NPPFP was revitalized to address the challenge of addressing adequately the needs of the growing population in the country.