The Ilocos region joins the world for the second year observance of the World Contraception Day (WCD) on September 26, 2019. The event has been celebrated globally since 2007 which focuses on the vision that every pregnancy is wanted. For this year’s celebration, the theme is “Power of Options.”

According to the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), Filipino women, on average, have one child more than they intended and the figures are highest among women from the lowest wealth quintile and lowest educational attainment. In the Ilocos region, data show that one in ten women age 15-19 have begun childbearing and 13.7% of women age 15-49 want to practice family planning but do not have any access. The lack of access to sexual and reproductive health care hinders women from reaching their full potential and contributing to national prosperity.

Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, the Executive Director of POPCOM said “Family planning is not just about access to contraceptives but also a human development issue as we empower women and couples to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Having an option means having the power and a choice to decide for your future.”

Usec Perez stressed that the government is determined to respect, promote and ultimately fulfill the promise of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law, especially with the marching order from President Rodrigo Duterte to intensify the implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP).

“FP campaign materials launched today will be disseminated all over the country as part of our expanded mandate in the implementation of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP). Working together with various stakeholders that have a common interest in family planning and sexual health is the best way to move forward. We believe that joining the World Contraception Day coalition is a strong effort in the implementation of the PPMP,” Usec Perez added.

With the said observance for this month, POPCOM-I together with its provincial and city population offices and partner agencies will organize local events such as health caravans, seminars, workplace orientations, conferences, and social media campaigns with intensified strategies supported by various materials to generate widespread attention about family planning and WCD.