The 2018 Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law Annual Report showcased significant strides in the implementation of the RPRH Law, after three (3) years under President Duterte’s administration.
The administration launched the National Program for Population and Family Planning as the government strengthened the socio-economic component of its population program by issuing Executive Order 71 in December 2018. This move has given prominence to the role of population and reproductive health in national and economic development.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has also issued the National Objectives for Health 2017-2022, which aims to achieve universal health care for adolescents, mothers, and persons living with HIV, among others.
Of the five (5) Key Result Areas monitored annually, there are many noteworthy improvements. Below are some of the highlights:
KRA 1: Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) Although there have been hurdles encountered in the immunization program, other aspects of MNCHN saw notable progress: an increase in Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) and Facility-Based Delivery (FBD). SBA went from 90 percent to 94 percent and FBD from 93 percent to 95 percent. Figures were from the 2017 and 2018 Field Health Service Information System (FHSIS), respectively.
Communication activities to increase awareness on the benefits of vaccination and inform people on the risks of infectious diseases, particularly measles, were also conducted.
KRA 2: Family Planning
Modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (mCPR) in family planning for both the public and private sector showed an increasing trend from 52.89 percent to 56.67 percent, according to the 2017 and 2018 FHSIS.
Demand generation activities such as Responsible Parenthood-Family Planning (RPFP) classes, Pre-marriage orientation and counselling sessions and Kalalakihang Tapat sa Responsibilidad at Obligasyon sa Pamilya (KATROPA), were able to reach more than 200,000 women of reproductive ages with unmet need for modern family planning (MFP). Of these, 85 percent were referred and served with MFP methods.
Family Planning in the workplace, a new initiative by POPCOM, aims to integrate RPFP in human resource development programs of national government agencies.
KRA 3: Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH)
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority Civil Registration Service revealed that babies born to adolescent mothers declined from 203,085 in 2016 to 196,478 in 2017. However, globally, UNFPA reports that the Philippines ranks among countries with the worst performance in adolescent fertility. These figures prove that we still have a long way to go to equip and empower the young people of the country.
KRA 4: Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS
The increasing proportion of young people aged 15-24 infected with the virus has been alarming; from 13 percent between 1999 to 2008 to 29 percent between 2009 to 2018. Sexual contact remains to be the primary mode of transmission and has been so since 1984.
Stigma and discrimination are still prevalent which makes it harder for individuals, particularly adolescents, to acquire screening services.
KRA 5: Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) / Gender-based Violence (GBV) In 2018, the World Economic Forum ranked the Philippines 8th among 149 countries in the Global Gender Gap. The country has narrowed the gender gap to 80 percent.
Trends in reported VAW cases were seen to be decreasing, from 25,805 in 2017 to 18,974 cases in 2018, according to the DOH VAWC Registry System.
POPCOM continues to support and work for the implementation of the RPRH Law and, with continued efforts and partnerships among stakeholders, particularly NEDA and DOH, we will soon address the many challenges faced in the implementation of the Law and fulfill our promise made to the women, youth and all Filipinos.