By Gabriela Baron
The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) on Tuesday reminded Filipino couples to practice responsible parenthood and family planning even with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
POPCOM said that the enhanced community quarantine gives couples opportunity for spousal and parental dialogue, however also poses challenges on couples and families to prevent unplanned pregnancies because of interrupted access to family planning and services.
“Being a health agency, it is our duty and commitment to the Filipino people to remind them that family planning–especially during situations when person are asked to stay indoors–should always be accessed and practiced,” Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III underscored.
Perez added that POPCOM will continue to advocate for the provision of basic family planning services in local communities as part of the essential services needed by couples and individuals to prevent the longer impact of unintended pregnancies.
“We are uncertain as to when the health emergency caused by COVID-19 will abate. As such we do not want to add on to the current situation with another possible crisis caused by unplanned pregnancies, as they could bear added weight to our already strained medical institution,” the executive director noted.
Perez urged couples and individuals to keep in mind family planning as they try to maintain their overall health and well-being inside their respective homes during these trying times.
Perez said that historically, there are spikes in unplanned pregnancies during natural calamities when couples and individuals cohabitate for longer periods.
POPCOM added that it’s planning to continue its work on demand generation on family planning by reaching out to the households using the social media.
The health agency also encourages local government units to tap barangay population volunteers to help educate communities on COVID-19 and provide family planning supplies which will last for three months.