July 15, 2020
The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM-X) is strengthening its campaign to mitigate the rise of unintended pregnancies in the region due to quarantine-induced service reduction that temporarily hampered the access to family planning services in the barangay level.
To provide assistance to clients on possible effects of the pandemic to the reproductive health and wellness of couples, particularly to women, POPCOM-X launched the POPCOM Helpline that will cater clients who are at risk of marital violence; have concerns related to responsible parenthood and family planning; needing adolescent and health development interventions, and other reproductive issues.
In a statement, POPCOM Region X Director Jeremias Gupit expressed his concerns on the latest data published by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) which suggests that the country, on a monthly basis, is expected to have additional 218,000 women age 15-49 to have unmet need for family planning (FP); 79,000 unintended pregnancies; 12,100 women will experience intimate partner violence (IPV); and 60 maternal deaths.
“We have been repeatedly reminding the couples to practice responsible parenthood and family planning (RPFP) most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As couples stay at home most of the time, their chance of intimacy may also increase which may result to an unplanned pregnancy if no FP method is used. The government can no longer afford another post-coronavirus crisis compelling it to avert this emerging problem. One of the many ways is the program launched by POPCOM which aims to address the reproductive health and wellness concerns of the people by referring them to the proper service providers,” Gupit said.
In region 10, on top of the projected 83,000 unplanned pregnancies without community quarantine, the data suggests that there will be an additional 10,000 unintended pregnancies until the end of the year as FP services are significantly impeded because of lockdowns and limited mobility.
The POPCOM Helpline will cater clients from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mondays to Fridays, through 0909-914-9735; 0997-18-1482; (088) 858-5409; faceboook.com/popcom10; or email@example.com.
POPCOM-X is also seeking the assistance of the local government units (LGUs) to mobilize the barangay populations volunteers (BPVs) and barangay health workers (BHWs) to provide family planning information and direct services to couples at their doorsteps, to include resupply of pills and condoms.