Pursuant to Department of Health Department Circular No. 50-A, series of 1995, the whole month of May is commemorated as Natural Family Planning (NFP) Month. With the enactment and implementation of Republic Act 10354 (Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012), a landmark legislation protecting the rights on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health including access to family planning methods, it is vital that this monthly campaign and its objectives are revitalized.
Family planning, the heart of POPCOM’s Philippine Population Management Program implementation, refers to “the shared responsibility of the husband and wife to determine and achieve the desired timing, spacing and number of children according to their own family life aspirations, taking into account psychological preparedness, health status, and their socio-cultural and economic capacities.”
NFP, as part of family planning, comprises of methods (Basal Body Temperature, Cervical Mucus, Sympto-Thermal, Standard Days, and Lactational-Amenorrhea) that can be used by any Filipino couple who wishes to practice family planning without using drugs or devices. Based on the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), of the total women respondents who were using FP methods, 61.2% have been using any method. Of these respondents, 44.9% are using modern FP methods. Unfortunately, only 1 of the 44.9% of respondents use modern NFP methods (Standard Days and LAM).
With the given findings, the support of partner agencies and organizations will aid in increasing awareness on NFP methods to generate more couples who use these methods which are 95-99.5% effective in family planning. The institutionalization of the NFP month celebration aims to renew public interest in Natural Family Planning, educate interested couples on the advantages of NFP, recruit volunteers (individuals or organizations) for NFP advocacy and NFP teachers, and expand Program capabilities in the delivery of NFP services. Thus, we enjoin partner government agencies and local government units, civil society organizations, media, and other major stakeholders, in the commemoration of the NFP month by generating demand for information and education on family planning, to increase awareness and acceptance of family planning methods including NFP.
With these, we enjoin everyone not only in the commemoration of the NFP month, but also in achieving a better region through the advocacy towards attaining well-planned, happy, healthy, and empowered Filipino families.