MANILA – Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua bared the government’s reproductive health and family planning programs on Monday at the International Inter-Ministerial Conference on Population and Development organized jointly by the Partners in Population and Development (PPD) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Speaking before foreign ministers and senior government officials from the 27 PPD member states, Chua shared that the Philippine government recognizes the crucial role of reproductive health and family planning programs in the pursuit of its long-term vision to eradicate extreme poverty by 2040.

“As such, we have rolled out various policies and programs which affirm our commitment to achieving the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action and Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

Among the programs mentioned was the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) 2017-2022, which Chua said serves as the blueprint for implementing population-related programs, projects, and activities. It aims to help couples and parents achieve their desired number and spacing of children, and reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancies in the country.

Chua also emphasized the President’s issuance of Executive Order No. 12 in 2017 to promote the attainment of zero unmet need for modern family planning and the implementation of the National Program on Population and Family Planning.

Similarly, the National Safe Motherhood Program aims to provide cost-effective pregnancy services to Filipino women to curb rising maternal and child mortality

Moreover, according to Chua, educational institutions have integrated comprehensive sexuality education and adolescent reproductive health in their curriculum. This provides critical guidance to the youth on the cognitive, physical, and social aspects of sexuality, and their reproductive health concerns.

To address the evolving reproductive health challenges in the country, the government has also strengthened its social protection programs for teenage mothers and their children. These aim to widen their access to nutrition and mental health support services, and provide opportunities to return to school and find gainful work or livelihood.

“All of these initiatives are geared towards our goal to ensure the health and safety of every Filipino family. As we collectively recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, let us continue working together to intensify our efforts in lowering maternal and child mortality, preventing unplanned pregnancies, and empowering more people to make informed choices on reproductive health and family planning,” he said.

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