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Population and Development (PopDev)

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Responsible Parenthood - Family Planning (RP-FP)

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Adolescent Health and Development (AHD)

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Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health

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The Commission on Population’s Official Statement on President Rodrigo Duterte’s First State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 25, 2016

In the first ever State of the Nation (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte, he mentioned “health” six times and one of the most precious moments for the Commission on Population (POPCOM) was when he coupled it with the word “reproductive.”

Lauded by the live audience in the first SONA of President Duterte and among the reproductive health advocates was his statement about population management:

“The implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law must be put into full force and effect [applause] so that couples, especially the poor, will have freedom of informed choice on the number and spacing of children they can adequately care and provide for, [applause] eventually making them more productive members of the labor force.”

Being the country’s central policy making, planning and coordinating body for the population program, POPCOM supports the call of the President to fully implement the RPRH Law.

The Commission on Population recognizes the importance given by the President in reproductive health specifically in family planning from Day 1 of his office to his first SONA where he stated his vision for the RPRH beyond his term. As a matter of fact, the Commission directs its priority to the family planning (FP) program of the country.

 “We’ve been strongly pushing to immediately lift the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in some of the important provisions of the law,” POPCOM Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III said.

74 countries post hike in new HIV infections ­— study

 

DURBAN, South Africa – Seventy-four countries, including the Philippines, have seen an increase in new HIV infections over the past decade, threatening efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, a new global study showed.

Based on a study from the Global Burden of Disease collaborative network, published in The Lancet HIV, the 74 countries saw increases in “age-standardized rate of new infections” between 2005 and 2015. 

Among them are Egypt, Pakistan, Kenya, the Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico and Russia.

The study, released at the 21st International AIDS Conference being held in Durban, also showed that while the global number of new cases continues to decline, the pace has greatly slowed. 

New infections of HIV went down by an average of only 0.7 percent per year between 2005 and 2015, compared to the 2.7 percent drop per year between 1997 and 2005.

The study was based on findings from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study, coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

HIV/AIDS “remains very high by any standard,” United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS founding executive director Peter Piot said, commenting on the study.

“The continuing high level of incidence of new infections of HIV in the world is the most disturbing fact that has been announced here at the conference,” he said.

“It means really that AIDS is not yet over and that HIV/AIDS remains one of the biggest public health threats of our time.”

Piot, now director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, has underscored the need to study the HIV/AIDS situation in the late 1990s when there was a decrease in new infections although anti-retroviral therapy (ART) was not yet available then.

“The continuing high rate of over two million new HIV infections represents a collective failure which must be addressed through intensified prevention efforts and continued investment in HIV vaccine research,” he said.

 

-Sheila Crisostomo

 

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/21/1605080/74-countries-post-hike-new-hiv-infections-study

SHELL JOINS FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS IN PALAWAN

 

There are hundreds of new HIV/AIDS cases in the Philippines every month. In 2015 alone, 7,829 cases were recorded, according to the Integrated HIV Behavioral Serologic Surveillance (IHBSS) conducted by the Epidemiology Bureau of Department of Health. Furthermore, in Palawan under Region IV-B, HIV continues to increase, with 40 new cases in 2015. In the same year, figures show that its capital, Puerto Princesa, ranked 3rd out of 36 cities having the highest HIV prevalence among men having sex with men. 

As a response to the healthcare need of the community, a multi-sectoral group composed of Project: Health, Help, Hope, Happiness (Project H4), The Love Yourself Inc. (TLY), Department of Health (DOH) Region IV-B, and Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) came together in setting up a volunteer-run community center–a safe haven where people can take an HIV test without the fear of discrimination or prejudice. 

Dubbed “Amos Tara!” or “Let’s go!” in the Cuyunon dialect, the community center is located in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and was recently inaugurated to the public. “I hope people don’t see it as an HIV clinic, but a community center, a youth center, a place to be happy and safe,” said PSFI programme manager Marvi Trudeau. 

Aside from counseling and testing, Amos Tara! will be the venue for HIV 101 mini-sessions, which aims to promote peer education, as well as livelihood and personality development among the youth.

According to PSFI executive director Edgardo Veron Cruz, businesses and even the economy of country will get affected if employees increasingly become afflicted with HIV/AIDS. As such, the foundation has started to become proactive in fighting the disease through its program called the Philippine Business Sector Response (PBSR) to HIV/AIDS.

PSFI launched the program with the aim of encouraging companies to have access to information, training, and services, necessary for the institution of workplace policies and programs on HIV and AIDS.

The program’s area of coverage initially focused on the National Capital Region, and then expanded to Batangas and Palawan, where Shell has work sites equipped with ground breaking technology for developing new energy sources. Through its involvement in the creation of Amos Tara!, PSFI has also stepped up the fight in helping save lives in the province. 

 

-Malaya Business Insight

 

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/living/shell-joins-fight-against-hivaids-palawan

PH contraceptives expiring in 2018, unless SC lifts TRO

By Tina G. Santos

 

BY 2018, 90 percent of contraceptive brands will no longer be available in the market, including P248 million worth of hormonal contraceptives that would be expiring soon.

This was bared by Reproductive Health (RH) Law advocates who are now calling on the Supreme Court to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) on family planning
commodities.


“The expiration of these modern contraceptives would result in a limited brand or kind of contraceptive for the couples to choose from. They would thus be deprived of their reproductive health and rights,” Lydio Espanol, Commission on Population Region IV-B director, told a forum in Quezon City on Tuesday.


“Unless the TRO is lifted, government investments like that of the procured subdermal implants which are now on stock in the Department of Health (DOH) warehouses and will be expiring by 2018 will all go to waste. Aside from the procured implants, investments made in the training of health practitioners is also wasted,” he added.


On June 17, 2015, the high court prohibited the health department from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive Implanon and Implanon NXT” because it prevented pregnancies up to three years.


Pending applications


The Supreme Court, in the same ruling, also stopped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from granting pending applications for reproductive products, including contraceptives.


The TRO was issued a year after the high tribunal ruled that the Reproductive Health Law was constitutional.


Similar appeal

The health department found the apparently contradictory ruling “frustrating” and made a similar appeal to the high court to lift the ban.

Citing studies by the National Demographic Health Survey, RH Law advocates said there were 1.9 million unplanned pregnancies annually, which might be risky for the women if they were not given access to proper health care.


May-I Fabros, representative for WomenHealth Philippines, said the TRO issued by the high court against the distribution of contraceptive implants, particularly Implanon, by the DOH, as provided under the Reproductive Health Law “creates a barrier” for women who may want to make their own decisions in terms of pregnancy and motherhood.


“Let us not rob them of the capacity to make their own decisions. We call on the Supreme Court to provide healthcare for young women and girls,” said Fabros in a press briefing.

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/795693/ph-contraceptives-expiring-in-2018-unless-sc-lifts-tro#ixzz4EjqYGc89 

Most contraceptives to run out by 2018 – PopCom

By Jee Y. Geronimo

 

Filipino women will be left with a limited number of expensive products by then as the more affordable products will lose their certificates in 2017,' says the Commission on Population.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – What's at stake if the Supreme Court's (SC) temporary restraining order (TRO) in relation to family planning commodities remains in place?

The Commission on Population (PopCom) said almost 90% of contraceptive brands will no longer be available by 2018, which will make the reproductive health (RH) law "ineffective."

"This situation will make the most important elements of the [Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health] Law ineffective and deprive Filipino women and men of their reproductive health and rights," PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said in a statement sent to Rappler on Wednesday, July 13, as he urged the lifting of the TRO.

The SC in 2015 temporarily stopped the health department's distribution and sale of implants, a contraceptive that can prevent pregnancies for up to 3 years.

The High Court also prohibited the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from "granting any and all pending application for reproductive products and supplies, including contraceptive drugs and devices."

According to PopCom's summary sent to Rappler, a total of 48 modern family planning commodities had FDA certificates on June 17, 2015 – the date when the TRO was issued.

As of July 2016, the FDA certificates of 14 commodities already expired. The certificate of another injectable is set to expire by December 2016.

By 2018, the certificates of almost 90% of the family planning commodities will expire, unless the SC lifts the TRO.

Expiration % TOTAL Pill Injectable IUD Implant Vaginal Ring
July 2016 29.17% 14 11 2 - 1 -
December 2016 2.08% 1 - 1 - - -
2017 29.17% 14 11 3 - - -
2018 29.17% 14 12 2 - - -
2019 8.33% 4 2 - 1 - 1
2020 2.08% 1 - - - 1 -
TOTAL 100% 48 36 8 1 2 1

With the expiration of the FDA certificates, PopCom said couples will have limited brands of contraceptives to choose from.

"Filipino women will be left with a limited number of expensive products by then as the more affordable products will lose their certificates in 2017," the commission added.

Meanwhile, PopCom said the subdermal implants bought by government and are now on stock in the health department's warehouses "will all go to waste." These implants will expire by 2018.

The latest report on the implementation of the RH law revealed that despite the TRO, the use of modern family planning methods in the country still increased in 2015.

"We need to exert greater efforts to reduce the unmet need for family planning and reproductive health services by 4 to 5 million couples and individuals who want the services to limit or space their children in their reproductive year," Perez said.

Perez told Rappler that the Office of the Solicitor General already filed a motion to lift the TRO in 2015.

Another motion filed last June 24 also asked the SC to allow the distribution of existing units of implants "before their expiration dates pending resolution of this case."

Benjamin de Leon, president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development, also urged the SC justices to "uphold the law and lift the TRO."

After all, the health agenda of the Duterte administration, he said, "is clear in addressing unmet need for family planning and RH."

"There should not be any barriers to access to RH…. We assert that the TRO impacts the implementation of the RH Law because it limits family planning services by the Department of Health and all public health facilities that cater to majority of Filipinos, particularly the poor," de Leon added.

Last week, National Economic and Development Authority chief Ernesto Pernia said he will ask Duterte to issue an executive order that will urge local government units to fully implement the RH law.

Pernia said an earlier and full implementation of the law could have helped accelerate poverty reduction in the country. – Rappler.com

http://www.rappler.com/nation/139579-popcom-tro-family-planning-commodities

News Article

July 14, 2016

 

If RH Law TRO lifted, More Contraceptive Choices, Supplies

With the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) limiting the implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) urges the administration to fast track the removal of the TRO in order to achieve sufficient supply of contraceptives especially the more effective.

The TRO restricts the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) from “granting any and all pending applications for registration and/or recertification for reproductive products and supplies including contraceptive drugs and devices.”

The TRO also prevents the agencies from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing, or administering, advertising, and promoting the hormonal contraceptive Implanon and Implanon NXT.”

“The procurement of contraceptives is critically important in order to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy. If a woman is sexually active, effective family planning methods help her correctly and consistently plans birthing. Among reversible methods of birth control, intrauterine contraception and the contraceptive implant remain highly effective for years,” POPCOM Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III said.

implanon NXT

 

Press Release
World Population Day 2016
July 11, 2016

POPCOM joins World Population Day 2016, Upholds the rights of teenage girls



The Commission on Population (POPCOM) joins the celebration of the 2016 World Population Day by highlighting the importance of women empowerment and solidarity towards the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.


With the theme, Investing in Teenage Girls, this year’s World Population Day takes into account the crucial role of young women in national development and that they need to be given quality information and services to fulfil their potential as catalysts for change.  


All around the world, young women face many challenges which pose great risk to their wellbeing and future. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 59 million girls have already been married by age 18 in the Asia and Pacific region alone;  while 20 thousand girls aged 15-19 give birth each day in developing countries.


The lack of access to correct information and services puts the lives of these girls in jeopardy, as complications due to pregnancy and child birth continue to be one of the leading cause of death among them. An estimated 3.2 million unsafe abortions also occur among the same age group.


“The Philippines is the only country in the Asia Pacific Region where teenage pregnancy has been on the rise for the last two decades”, according to UNFPA Country Representative Klaus Beck. 

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Base from the 2015 CENSUS of Population: 100,981,437

Basis: 2015 PGR of 1.72

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