September 14, 2020
Amidst the mobility restrictions and imposed quarantines due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Commission on Population and Development – Region X launched two (2) radio programs this September to ensure unhampered delivery of correct information on responsible parenthood and family planning (RPFP) and adolescent health and development (AHD).
The program Ang Kaugmaon aims to provide couples and individuals with accurate information on fertility awareness; different methods of family planning; responsible parenting; importance and benefits of family planning to parents and their children; and nurturing family relationships.
On the other hand, the program Kabataan Talakayan which targets teenagers in the region 10 provides discussions on sexual and reproductive health of today’s adolescents; fertility awareness; sexual violence and risk behaviors; teenage pregnancy situation in the region; teenage vulnerabilities; risks of early sexual initiations; love and intimacy; among others.
POPCOM-X hopes that despite deferment of RPFP caravans for couples and ASRH classes for adolescents, the radio program will be an avenue for them to continuously receive information on sexual well-being and use them as guide to avoid unintended pregnancy.
In March 24, 2020, POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III issued a statement reminding couples and individuals to exercise responsible parenthood and family planning as the country faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are uncertain as to when the health emergency caused by COVID-19 will abate. As such, we do not want to add on to the current situation with another possible crisis caused by unplanned pregnancies, as they could bear added weight to our already strained medical institutions,” Usec. Perez said.
According to Usec. Perez, the number of unplanned pregnancies historically increases during natural calamities “when couples and individuals cohabitate for longer periods.”
In the initial report of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) in May 2020, it is estimated that unplanned pregnancies will reach 214,000 due to quarantine-induced service reduction. Moreover, Usec. Perez also stated that 40 teenagers below 15 years old get pregnant every week.
In a separate statement, POPCOM-X Regional Director Jeremias Gupit said that, “it is very alarming to note that we are expecting a baby boom next year because of unwanted pregnancy. Adding burden to the pandemic is the fact that teenage pregnancy cases will also increase. Now more than ever, we are intensifying our information campaign and reach the farthest places in the region to deliver information on reproductive health and family planning. This time, we are utilizing the power of media, particularly the radio.”
The weekly radio program Ang Kaugmaon is aired every Tuesday, 10:00AM to 11:00 AM in Mellow Touch FM (95.7) while Kabataan Talakayan is live every Wednesday 10:30 AM to 11:30AM at Home Radio FM (93.5). The programs are also on livestreaming via POPCOM-X official Facebook page.