The Philippines will celebrate World Contraception Day for the first time on September 26 with a forum to highlight the progress and challenges surrounding reproductive health in the country. The event will be held at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
This marks the first time that the nation is joining the annual global Your Life campaign, which pursues a vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted. It aims to improve awareness on contraception among young people globally, so they can make informed decisions about their reproductive health.
Population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health and rights are critical to a nation’s sustainable development. The latest study released by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat reveals that the population of the Philippines increases by as much as 1.5 million each year. The same study projects the trend to continue until 2020 even as the country’s population has tripled in the past 50 years, one of the fastest growth rates in the world. Safe and effective contraception is key to slowing unsustainable population growth and its resulting negative impacts on public health, economy, environment, and the nation’s development efforts.
“Access to reproductive health education paves the way for healthier Filipino families and a stronger nation.There is a growing need to educate more Filipinos about planning their pregnancies and families and to give them access to methods that they deem most suitable for their needs. While we have a Reproductive Health Law, it is still not being implemented to its full capacity due to the opposition of certain sectors,” said Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, Commission on Population (PopCom) Executive Director.
World Contraception Day reiterates the importance of giving couples the right to decide for themselves the size of their families and the spacing of pregnancies, which is essential to securing the health and well-being of women and their families, while supporting country’s sustainable development.
World Contraception Day is spearheaded by a coalition of 15 international partners including the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Population Council, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and supported by Bayer.
The Philippines’ World Contraception Day celebration is led by the Commission on Population, The Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc., Philippine Society of Reproductive Medicine and supported by Bayer.
“This year’s World Contraception Day is a celebration of the current and future efforts related to improving reproductive health in the country. This is an opportune time for government and different stakeholders to see where we can further improve services in reproductive health, how we can raise awareness and make each pregnancy a wanted and planned one,” said JunIl Kim, Country Division Head Pharmaceuticals, Bayer Philippines.