Juan Antonio Perez III

TACLOBAN CITY- The government under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte will be pushing more on the campaign on family planning program.
This was disclosed by Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population Development(CPD), formerly the Commission on Population, who added that they are targeting at least 5 million mothers to be ‘acceptors’ of their family planning program.
Perez, in a press conference on Monday(Feb.11), said that by meeting their target, which is supposed to happen in 2020 the year Pres. Duterte is to step down from Malacañang, they will help reduce the country’s fertility rate to just 2.1 percent.
At present, the country’s fertility rate stands at 2.7 percent. Fertility rate means the number of children who would be born per woman (or per 1,000 women) if she is to pass through the childbearing years.
And as part of this scheme to reach their target, their office through its mother unit, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Department of Health, will be issuing a joint memorandum circular outlining how their target could be achieve.
“We have to double our effort on family planning and we plan to include at least one million new acceptors to our family planning program over the next four years. We’ll add four to five million new acceptors,” Perez said.
“We will seek the support of the President to continue to strengthen the family planning program by putting more resources to the (program),”the population executive director added.
Perez said that they need at least P1.5 billion funding for them to carry out their family planning program, to include in improving the number of family planning acceptors.
Last year, their office was able to convinced 1.2 million mothers to join their family planning program of which they were able to identify 250,000 women who have unmet needs.
Unmet need means couples and women who are fecund and sexually active and want to limit or space their children but are not using any modern method of contraception.
According to Perez, the goal of their office now that it is attached to NEDA, the office that shapes the economic policy of the government, is to help the country become stable or developed economically.
Thus, with a lower fertility rate, the couple, particularly the mother, would become a productive member of the society, contributing to the country’s economic development, the CPD executive director said.
Perez said that they are also seeking support and cooperation from local government units and civil society organizations and even the Church on this campaign.
The population official stressed that the Church will find no reason why it will not support the campaign saying they are not promoting any method that could lead to abortion.
The Catholic Church in the country has been opposing to the government’s family planning program saying it promotes abortion, a claim the government has denied.