This year’s celebration of the 2021 World Population Day (WPD) recognizes the importance of investing in sexual and reproductive health and rights of all people amidst the challenges of the COVID-19.

This year’s theme “Dynamic Demographics: To address population growth or decline, we need rights and choices at the center”aims to raise awareness about the importance of addressing the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls during the pandemic in order to reduce high fertility.

Advocates of SRH reiterate the critical role of the government in prioritizing the health and rights of women alongside other issues surrounding them and specifically address broad and cross-cutting health needs which include all aspects of health, regardless of age and gender.

Despite efforts to address SRH issues in the Cagayan Valley Region, gaps are still imminent to the following: limited access to family planning information and services was aggravated by the pandemic since most of the areas in the region are still placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ); unmet need for modern family planning methods is still high (10.9%) among married women of reproductive ages (15-49) based on the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS); teenage pregnancy is slowly declining but the absolute number equals to 6270 or 1.85% in 2020; and the adolescent birth rate from adolescent girls (10-14) has been increasing at 55 in 2011 to 109 in 2019 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. 

Hence, POPCOM-Region II continues to work with local government units, relevant government agencies, program stakeholders and partners to address these issues in the region.

To highlight the WPD observance in Region 2, several activities are lined-up to include: radio/TV guestings; Training on Gender Responsive Population Strategies (GRPopS) on July 13-15 for newly designated Population Officers and representatives from the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS); Signing of Memorandum of Agreement between POPCOM-Region II and the Cagayan Provincial Learning and Resource Center (CPLRC) on July 13, 2021 relative to the dissemination of population information thru the CPLRC; Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) Localization Orientation of LGU Lal-lo, Cagayan on July 16, 2021 in the morning and Assessment Meeting for the PPMP Localization activities of Saguday, Nagtipunan and Diffun in Quirino Province, Santiago City, and the City of Cauayan in the afternoon; Signing of Memorandum of Understanding with ROTARACT Club of Tuguegarao District 3770 and ACT Cagayan Valley on July 19, 2021; and series of Virtual RPFP in the Workplace Orientation for RPEB member agencies and LGUs in the region. These activities aim to strengthen the SRH not only of women, but also men towards the betterment of their overall well-being.#