February 11, 2019
“We may at times find ourselves at the opposing end of a question, but one thing that propels us to work together is our common concern for the welfare of the Filipino Families.”
Thus said RD Jeremias C. Gupit of the Commission on Population Region X in 2016 in his first meeting with His Eminence Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J., D.D. of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City to open up their joint effort in addressing the alarming increase of teenage pregnancy not only in Cagayan de Oro City but also in Northern Mindanao.
The joint initiative, tapping the Family Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro City on one hand, and the Technical Services Section of POPCOM-10 on the other, where this time, both had taken a look on the modules on Sexually Healthy Adolescents and Parent Education (SHAPE) and Learning Package for Parent Education on Adolescent Health Development (LPPEAHD) which has been used by POPCOM-10 and its LGU partners in reaching out the adolescents enrolled in Third Year and Fourth Year High Schools to enhance it to suit to the sensitivities of a Catholic-run High Schools.
With the enhanced module aimed to contain spiritual messages, among others, on July 20-22, 2016, a 3-day “Training of Trainers (TOT) on ASRH to Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro (ACDO) Facilitators” was conducted by POPCOM-10 attended by Thirty Three (33) church-based facilitators who since then were reportedly conducting ASRH Classes in their schools.
This joint undertaking was just among the many activities that started as early as in 2008, when Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, S.J., D.D. of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro (ACDO) and the government through POPCOM-10 had agreed to pool their resources together as they both embark on the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood Movement-Natural Family Planning (RPM-NFP) Program in the region, paving the way for the creation of the 1st Regional NFP Task Force composed of POPCOM-10, DOH-10, and ACDO, thus building a strong partnership particularly in the NFP Program implementation in the region.
To capacitate the Barangay Parish Coordinators, the “Training of Trainers (TOT) on Natural Family Planning Methods” in several batches were conducted by POPCOM-10 in return of which the trained Barangay Parish Coordinators conducted the RPM-NFP barangay classes to the different barangays in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, and Camiguin.
To further ensure the program’s success, on April 8, 2008, the province of Misamis Oriental under then Gov. Oscar Moreno allocated P500,000 for the implementation of the RPM-NFP Program activities with the ACDO being the implementing entity. By 2013, a church-based NFP Centers in Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin were established. In the succeeding years, parish coordinators continued the conduct of RPM Barangay Classes purely discussing NFP.
Through the years, as POPCOM officials and employees will converge together on February 19-22, 2019 to mark its 50th Anniversary with the welfare of the Filipino Families foremost in the agenda of both POPCOM-10 and ACDO, there continually exists a strong reason to nurture that partnership and collaboration