TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Having the highest number of couples with “unmet need,” Cagayan will be the target of the Department of Health’s promotion of modern family planning methods.
Commission on Population (PopCom) Region 02 Assistant Director Herita Macarubbo said this follows President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order no. 12 seeking to address incidents of couples not using modern family planning methods through strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act or RH law.
The said E.O. defines couples with unmet need as those who are fecund, sexually active, and want to limit or space their children, but are not using modern family planning methods.
With this, the Department of Health, Macarubbo said, has also released an administrative order to define roles of other partner agencies in reducing the number of said couples.
DOH and PopCom’s partners include National Economic Development Authority, Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment, National Youth Commission, Philippine Commission on Women, and the National Council on Disability Affairs.
Further, DILG has also instructed LGUs to organize an implementing teams.
Macarubbo said local government units should map areas where said couples are most prevalent in order to convince them to use modern family planning methods.
Meanwhile, the population of Region 02 is increasing at 1.27% on average annually, based on the recent census of population of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
As of August 2015, the region has a population 3,451,410.
Aside from this, the region also has one of the highest number of teenage pregnancy cases, with Tuguegarao City having the most number of cases and Baggao town in Cagayan as perennial placer in the top five.
The incoming PopCom director also believes that there is no problem in information dissemination, noting that there is a “high level of awareness” of RH methods in communities.
“There is a dissonance between the knowledge or awareness and practice,” she said.
Macarubbo said that based on the national demographic and health survey, husbands in the region reportedly want many offspring.
Religious beliefs and the financial situation of most residents factor in the increase in population in Cagayan Valley, the PopCom Assistant Director said. Northernforum.net