The Commission on Population (POPCOM) 6 urged on Saturday couples in Western Visayas to avail of the family planning commodities at their health centers.
The agency is projecting a rise to the region’s population by 28, 816 due to the two-month community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), said Harold Alfred Marshall, POPCOM 6 regional director.
“To the married couples, they can approach their nearest health centers to avail of the family planning commodities they are most suited with. May it be a temporary, permanent, or natural modern scientific method,” Marshall said.
He said the region’s population rose to 14, 408 in a two-month period, citing the 2010 and 2015 census.
“That is for two months projection only, starting March 16,” he said.
Despite the community quarantine, teenagers can also find ways to meet up, which poses another challenge to teenage pregnancies.
Marshall said 1.5 million of the present 7.4 million population of the region are composed of adolescents from 15 to 19 years old.
“Ten percent of these adolescents in the region are considered mothers or have already given birth while 15.1 percent have begun childbearing. Hopefully, this will not increase because of the lockdown,” he said.
Citing the national demographic health survey, he said those who are most likely to bear more children are those from the lower wealth quintile while couples with zero or little education can bear an average of four children.
The government is also addressing these issues, he said, and the local government units were asked to include in their budgets the provision of family planning commodities to the locals.
“They can allocate budget for provision or procurement of family planning methods and to actually really reach out to women and couples who need help,” he said.
He said the local government units can also distribute family planning commodities among households during the community quarantine. (PNA)