The regional office of the Commission on Population and Development re-strategizes its priorities to align the population management program right at the communities with the over-all health care program of the Department of Health.
In its intention to end the rising incidence of COVID-19 cases, POPCOM-Caraga implemented the Population, Health and Development strategy where logistical and financial support are extended to the local government units. POPCOM’s strategy ensures that couples and individual shall be assisted in addressing their reproductive health concerns, particularly in managing pregnancy, to guarantee the health and safety of the entire family.
POPCOM is working with DOH in the delivery of the commodities for modern family planning to the provincial and city health offices of Caraga Region which the latter to distribute the goods to the health centers of the 67 towns and thousands of barangays. It is expected that the health centers can continuously provide the services to the couples and individuals especially during this national health crisis through quality, scientific and safer methods for family planning.
Population workers and volunteers of the local governments are getting logistical support extended by POPCOM in the delivery of services along the population program for years. POPCOM extended the said support to the local health workers for already three years.
POPCOM’s support is also designed that LGUs can be assisted in preventing untimely pregnancies during this crisis. Community workers and volunteers are getting material and financial support to equip young people with appropriate knowledge and skills in postponing their fertility concerns.
It is eyed by POPCOM to expand its network to the academe, private sector, and youth leaders in molding responsible behavior among the younger generation. In the study commissioned by POPCOM with the University of the Philippines, significant proportion of young people are engaging in sexual activities which exposed themselves to the risky complications of teenage pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, including HIV-AIDS.
POPCOM launched earlier its Responsible Parenthood-Family Planning (RP-FP) Hotlines to assist the communities in educating the public on matters involving their safety and health during this pandemic. Trained social workers of POPCOM will respond to the messages and calls from the public on 0995-1550746 (Globe) and 0951-0419159 (Smart) in their working time during Monday to Friday.
Some of POPCOM’s personnel shall be fielded to the LGUs to assist in the surveillance and contact tracing activities on COVID-19 cases. Out of a joint memorandum with DOH, it is advocated by POPCOM that population workers and volunteers and other non-health personnel of the LGUs shall be mobilized in the contact tracing activities during this pandemic.
In a related development, Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III re-certifies all officials and employees of POPCOM nationwide as public health workers as defined under the national law for Public Health Workers. In his 9-page pronouncement, Secretary Duque pointed-out that POPCOM is engaging in health and health-related works along the national program on family planning as its mandate provided in several legal issuances.