Popcom reminds local officers of their expanded roles

The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) has reminded Eastern Visayas' population officers of their expanded roles and functions in the intensified implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP).

Popcom 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Elnora Pulma said on Wednesday that local governments are prime partners to ensure that the NPPFP and other population management strategies are properly and effectively implemented in their respective localities.

A joint order issued by the departments of the interior and health, and Popcom in 2017 designated local population officers to closely coordinate with local departments down to village levels for the strategic planning and conduct of community based programs on population and family planning.

They need to mobilize community workers to map and locate couples and individuals with unmet need for family planning, conduct community based demand generation and referral activities, and ensure provisions of quality modern family planning information and services guided by the principle of informed choice and voluntarism, Pulma told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

They were also assigned to carry out measures to ensure the delivery of basic services and provision of adequate facilities relative to the integration of the population development principles and in providing access to services and facilities.

Local population officers were also instructed to establish and maintain an updated data bank for operations, development planning, and an educational program to ensure people's participation in and understanding of population development.

The interior department on July 8, 2019 issued a memorandum circular mandating provinces, cities, and municipalities to designate local population officers or coordinators with plantilla positions, as a key strategy for better health outcomes, poverty reduction, and socio economic development.

Population must be recognized as a principal element in long range planning if the government is to achieve its economic goals and fulfill the aspirations of its people, Pulma said.

The government has revitalized the NPPFP to address the needs of the country's growing population.

The family planning program was officially launched in 1969 through Executive Order 171 and institutionalized as a national policy through Republic Act 6365 and Presidential Decree 79.

The memo circular complies with Executive Order 12 on Attaining and Sustaining Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning, issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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