The regional office of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM VII) in Central Visayas through Regional Director Atty. Bruce N. Ragas and Assistant Regional Director Darlynn S. Remolino made important reminders on family management during this period of enhanced community quarantine.  True to POPCOM’s vision of “Empowering Filipino Families” Ragas and Remolino centered on primarily three (3) points.  First is responsible parenthood (RP) in the light of gender sensitivity where couples share responsibility with the burden at home and in taking care of children.  Similarly, they hope that violence against women and children should not be a concern at this time when the pandemic is observed in the world against COVID 19. 

 POPCOM is a stalwart facilitator of KATROPA seminars encouraging husbands and male partners to lead in helping the women and their wives in family management.  KATROPA stands for KALALAKIN-ANG TINUD-ANAY SA RESPONSIBILIDAD UG OBLIGASYON SA PAMILYA.  This is one important training that started in 2015. KATROPA is an aspiration or movement which aims to shape and change men as responsible individuals, parents, and partners for the development of their family and the community. It is advancing innovative views on the role and responsibility of men in society with emphasis on their ability to be responsible for their decisions and advocates of health for themselves and their families; family planning, healthy and safepregnancy of their wife or partner, and active participation in the development of society.  As annex to KATROPA, POPCOM VII developed KATROPA JR. which is a training conducted for young fathers or mga batan-ong amahan which started in 2016. 

Second thing that POPCOM VII reminds on family management is responsible family planning.  The least that the country would want to experience at this time is a “baby boom” by next year, according to ARD Remolino.  Couples should be very responsible enough to heed to modern family planning methods and coordinate with their local health centers on the matter for commodities.  In Central Visayas in the tri-cities, the Department of Health (DOH) continues to be sustaining this service despite their focus in prioritizing the cases of COVID 19.  In some areas like San Remegio, Alcoy and Boljoon, Cebu; San Isidro, Bohol and Tanjay in Negros Oriental – the appointed and designated Population Officers themselves do the house-to-house or door-to-door initiatives of bringing the commodities to the couples as they are wont to stay home. 

Although, the Covid-19 health crisis has put many things to a halt, many of the Population Officers are also frontliners who remain committed to ensuring uninterrupted supply of family planning services despite the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) enforced in all provinces in Central Visayas. For example, Ms. Cecille Mancha Bayocboc, the Local Population Officer –Designate in San Isidro, Bohol shared that family planning services such as contraceptive injectables, condoms and pills are continuously provided to their clients in their town. The family planning services are integrated during the scheduled visits of mothers for their children’s immunization while some pregnant mothers are given FP information during pre-natal visits to achieve their intention for birth spacing after their deliveries. The midwives and nurses from the rural health unit of San Isidro, Bohol also visited the households of current users of family planning to bring the services to those who are unable to go out of their homes due to the ECQ.  In other parts of Central Visayas, POPCOM VII will be coordinating soon with Provincial Health Offices primarily on this concern on family planning, maternal and neonatal health care.

The third aspect that POPCOM VII would want to share is the participation of the youth in their homes to help their parents and siblings in family chores and related activities.  And because the internet is a haven nowadays, POPCOM VII invites young people to watch POPCOM videos of short films with good values which are available in youtube.com.  These short films are winners of POPCOM’s short film contests under its Adolescent Health and Development Program (AHDP) since 2015. #

Writter:

Maria Lourdes A. Garillos, Information Officer II – IMCU