In partnership with DA
TACLOBAN CITY – The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) partners with the Department of Agriculture (DA) in bringing Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) to communities in the region under the Special Areas for Agricultural Development (SAAD) Program of the agriculture office.
The SAAD Program is a comprehensive strategy that provides livelihood opportunities for farmers and fisherfolks in the top ten poorest provinces in the country, which include Samar island areas and Southern Leyte province in Region 8.
“Saad” is a Visayan word for promise and the program is anchored on two major components: social preparation, and food production and livelihood.
The partnership with DA comes under this strategy where farmers and fisherfolk beneficiaries of the program will become the target for RPFP classes by Popcom.
Identified areas for this joint undertaking are Lawaan, Balangiga, Hernani, Quinapondan in Eastern Samar and Sogod, Bontoc, Malitbog and St. Bernard, all in Southern Leyte.
The participants who will be identified from these areas will be provided with RPFP information which will make them become aware on responsible parenthood, as well as on family planning programs and services under the principle of informed choice and volunteerism (ICV) and this will be conducted during the RPFP class.
The RPFP Program aims to help couples/parents exercise responsible parenting to achieve their desired number, timing and spacing of their children, and to contribute in improving the maternal, neonatal and child health, and nutrition (MNCHN).
Andrew Rodolfo Orais, DA-8 assistant regional director for operation and extension, said the partnership is “very timely” as they are looking to fill in the gap on the social preparation component of the SAAD program.
For the initial allocation per province, the food production and livelihood component of SAAD provides interventions such as production support services; extension or training support and technology demonstration; and, provision of other agricultural equipment or facilities.
“The production and livelihood component is very well served while it is in the social preparation that we need partnerships such as this so as to provide a holistic approach to this program,” Orais said.
Meanwhile, as an initial step, Popcom has entered into a joint agreement with the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Health last February 15 aimed at addressing the needs of the country’s growing population and its impact on social and economic development through a co-managed and harmonized National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP).
Population growth rate has seen a decline in past years but the number of Filipinos is still increasing given its large population base and a fertility rate which has remained the highest in the ASEAN region, the 2018 State of the World Population Report revealed.
(LIZBETH ANN A. ABELLA)