The 2021 observance of the National Family Planning (FP) month this August is anchored on the principle of initiating and promoting open communication about FP with the theme “Usap Tayo sa Family Planning, atbp.”

The celebration aims to raise awareness on the importance and benefits of FP in promoting the overall health and well-being of the population.

With this, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) identified sub-themes to integrate messaging on sexual and reproductive health as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) for a more holistic FP communication campaign.

Usap Tayo sa FP so you can Practice Safe Sex

POPCOM and DOH, in partnership with key stakeholders are also embarking on empowering women, adolescents and the members of the LGBTQI+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transexual, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and others) so they can make informed choices especially on their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

POPCOM-Region II Director Herita O. Macarubbo reiterates that the only modern family planning method that is both effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) is the condom. “Couples and sexually active individuals should be encouraged to practice safe sex thru the correct and consistent use of condom,” she added.

Usap Tayo sa FP para sa HIV-Free Pinas

It is widely known that FP do not just protect couples/individuals against unplanned pregnancies but also the risk of acquiring STIs. In March 2021, the HIV/AIDS & ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) reported 1,041 confirmed HIV-positive individuals involving mostly males (95% or 991 individuals) and there were also reported cases of HIV transmission among pregnant women. Majority of the HIV infected individuals belong to the 15-34 age groups.

As such, POPCOM, DOH and LGU partners continue to advocate against unprotected sex and engagement in sexual and non-sexual risky behaviours especially among young adults.

Usap Tayo sa FP dahil ang Pamilyang Planado, Protektado!

This tagline has been used since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The advocacy efforts do not just focus on increasing demand for modern FP but inculcating in the minds of every family the difficulties and possible consequences of unplanned pregnancies amidst the pandemic. Local partners are conducting house-to-house provision of FP information and services especially during lockdowns where couples are mandated to stay at home.  

RD Macarubbo emphasized that POPCOM and all its program partners are working hand in hand to reduce the unmet need for MFP in the region after recording a 10.9% unmet need based on the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS).

“We can only avert possible rise in live births if we are able to provide the desired FP methods of these couples and individuals with unmet need for spacing and limiting,” she said.#