TACLOBAN CITY—The Commission on Population (POPCOM) in Eastern Visayas joins the international community in celebrating the World Population Day 2015 this July 11 with its theme “Dignity and Protection of Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies.”

POPCOM-8 Regional Director Elnora R. Pulma said that based on a report of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), women, children and young people comprise over three quarters of the over 50 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict and disasters in most parts of the world. “They face much greater risk of abuse, sexual exploitation, violence, forced marriage, reproductive health-related illnesses, and death due to the lack of protection and an absence of aid delivery to address their needs,” Pulma added referring to the UNFA report.

She said that to observe World Population Day in the region, POPCOM has enjoined all government and non-government partners to help spread information, messages and resources to address reproductive health needs and challenges of vulnerable populations during natural or human-induced catastrophes.
World Population Day celebration started in 1989 to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, particularly in the context of overall development.

Meanwhile, as part of the celebration, POPCOM has awarded Tacloban City and Dulag, Leyte as winners of the Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Awards (RMSPDA). The RMSPDA has recognized and honored local government units (cities and municipalities) that have clear policies, programs, services and interventions, and implementing and monitoring mechanisms to address population and development issues and concerns.

Runners-up were Ormoc City and Calbayog City for the cities; and Paranas, Samar and Almeria, Biliran for the municipalities. Earlier, three cities and three municipalities were ranked based on the selected indicators in the LGU scorecard for health, which include Governance on health and Health Financing, Access to Programs, Services and Facilities; and Performance Monitoring (40%) and Population and Development (POPDEV) Elements (60%). (REYAN L. ARINTO/IMCU, POPCOM-8)