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LGUs ordered to appoint population officers.

The Commission on Population (PopCom) has asked local government units (LGUs) to appoint local population officers as well as mobilize barangay (village) and community officials and volunteers to support the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP).

PopCom Eastern Visayas Regional Director Elnora Pulma said on Monday the local governments are prime partners in ensuring that the NPPFP and other population management strategies are effectively implemented in the respective locality.

'Population must be recognized as a principal element in long-range planning if the government is to achieve its economic goals and fulfill the aspirations of its people,' she told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Pulma said creating a population office is not mandated in the memorandum issued by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the reason why several local governments in the region do not have such an office or designated population officer.

The DILG issued the memorandum on July 8, 2019.

However, with the memorandum circular issued, provinces, cities, and municipalities without existing local population offices are mandated to designate local population officer or coordinator with a regular plantilla item, she said.

To date, the provinces of Leyte and Samar have local population offices with population officers while the other provinces have designated local population officers either under the provincial health office or the provincial social welfare and development office.

Meanwhile, the seven cities in the region all have local population officers, four of which have created city population offices.

Municipalities provide a different scenario wherein a number of local governments still have yet to designate population officers or coordinators.

Based on the memorandum, among the roles and functions of the appointed or designated local population officer or coordinator include coordinating with local departments or offices, including the villages for the planning and conduct of critical strategies for the full implementation of the program on population and family planning which is community-based.

They need to mobilize community workers to map and locate couples and individuals with unmet need for family planning, conduct community-based demand generation and referral activities, and ensure provisions of quality modern family planning information and services guided by the principle of informed choice and voluntarism.

The NPPFP was revitalized to address the challenge of adequately addressing the needs of the growing population in the country.

The family planning (FP) program was officially launched in 1969 through Executive Order 171, and institutionalized as a national policy then through Republic Act 6365 and Presidential Decree No. 79.

After 50 years, the program will be strengthened to enable more Filipinos to access FP services and speed up impact to social and economic development on a wider scale.

This memorandum circular is in compliance with the Executive Order No. 12 titled 'Attaining and Sustaining Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning' issued by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The order mandates the Department of Health, PopCom, DILG, and other relevant agencies, including LGUs, to attain and sustain zero unmet needs for family planning.

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Publication:Philippines News Agency
Date:Aug 19, 2019
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