Family Planning Month is celebrated every month of August. This year’s celebration, which focuses on the theme, “Usap Tayo sa Family Planning atbp.,” aims to generate and intensify the awareness on the importance and benefits of family planning as well as sexual and reproductive health in promoting the overall health and well-being of the population.

Despite various hazards caused by the pandemic, POPCOM I was able to reach 33,866 couples/individuals in the first six months of 2021 or 71% of the total target (48,000) for this year. One hundred percent (100%) or 9, 125 couples and individuals with total unmet need for family planning identified in the first semester of 2021 has also been served. In addition, the modern Contraceptive Prevalence Rate of the region is 25.7% nearing its target of 29% as of September last year. Teenage pregnancy in the region has also declined from an adolescent birth rate (ABR) of 13.83% in 2019 to 10.54% in 2020.

Said figures were achieved as a result of various demand generation and service delivery strategies implemented by each local government unit including the continued house-to-house distribution of family planning commodities, conduct of FP classes and caravan, and the weekly FP outreach activities extended by the POPCOM regional office to the municipalities of Pangasinan. New online initiatives were also developed to reach the adolescents. The POPCOM I Helpline was also helpful in referring queries made by clients seeking information on FP and adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

This year’s FP Month celebration has four sub-themes integrating messages on sexual and reproductive health, as well as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), for more holistic FP communication strategies. These are: Usap Tayo sa FP so you can Practice Safe Sex; Usap Tayo sa FP para sa HIV-Free Pinas; Usap Tayo sa FP dahil ang Pamilyang Planado, Panalo!; and I CHOOSE #MalayaAkongMaging.

Various campaign strategies such as the posting of social media cards, FP caravans, online talk shows, among others, have been set by the region to celebrate the FP Month and address the unmet need for family planning in the region.

POPCOM calls for a strengthened and more intensified implementation of the Philippine Population and Development Program (PPDP) in the localities to ensure that reproductive health services is accessible and available and the well-being of all is ensured. (by: Mae Grace M. Ariola/ POPCOM Region I).