TACLOBAN CITY—Commission on Population (POPCOM) Executive Director Juan Antonio A. Perez III has called on all local government units (LGUs) to appropriate funds for Family Planning (FP) commodities following the budget cut on the procurement of FP supplies.
In a statement, Perez said the P1 billion cut out of the P1.157 billion budget is a “very big obstruction to the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law and an outright denial of women’s reproductive rights by leaving them with no options and means for family planning.”
Perez added that it is a setback but the advocacy will continue to the LGUs to mobilize them in creating an enabling environment for women, men and adolescents particularly through provision of services and information, especially to the grassroots.
POPCOM’s call also complements the directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government urging LGUS to undertake their roles and functions under the RPRH Law.
POPCOM warned that the consequences of the denial of Reproductive Health and Family Planning services will mean at least an additional 110 maternal deaths that will accompany 50,000 unintended pregnancies.
“It is frustrating to see that a Filipino woman, still has to bear at least three children, more than what she intended, due to the lack of available and accessible reproductive health services including FP methods from public health facilities,” Perez said.
He vowed to optimize the agency’s limited resources to enhance demand for reproductive health services.
“Passing the bill after 14 years is one thing; implementing it is another…this time, we will not let another year to be lost in our progress to achieving population stability and the long-awaited demographic dividend,” the official said.