February 28, 2020
The indigenous tribes in Northern Mindanao are among the people who have larger family sizes. The culture and social beliefs of these people are not keen on practicing family planning as a means of managing family size. Given that larger family size or having many children generally results in poverty that branches out to many other problems like lack of food, education, savings for health, shelter and the like, POPCOM X reaches out to the indigenous on its program on responsible parenthood and family planning.
One of the activities conducted by POPCOM X to benefit the IPs was the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) Caravan on February 21, 2020, in barangays Kawayan and Magkalungay in San Fernando, Bukidnon. These two (2) hinterland barangays are inhabited by the Tigwahanon and Matigsalug tribe where most of the people live a pure and unique tribal way of life. This was seen during the caravan when women attended the activity barefoot and bringing children hanged on their necks through a self-made blanket cradle.
The caravan consisted of two (2) parts: first is the information campaign about responsible parenthood and family planning (RPFP) done through lecture-discussion. The second was an outreach mission providing free services on sub-dermal implants and other family planning methods based on the client’s informed choice. Two hundred thirty-nine (239) couples attended the RPFP class and sixty-four (64) IP clients availed and inserted with progestin-only sub-dermal implants (PSI).
Among the challenges expressed by the team were the language barrier and the absence of electricity in the area. Nonetheless, the information, education, and communication (IEC) campaign on RPFP were delivered efficiently with the assistance of barangay population volunteers (BPVs) who translated the lecture to their native language.
In the speech of Punong Barangay, Hon. Nelson S. Blanza, he said “I am happy to see our people willing to use FP methods. Through this coordinative effort, we can help them improve their living by planning their families”.