City of San Fernando, Pampanga – The Commission on Population Region (POPCOM) III is set to conduct this year’s Regional Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD) Film Festival Awarding Ceremony, recognizing winners from films produced by twelve schools from Central Luzon.
Themed “Kabataan, Kalusugan, Kalikasan: Magkaugnay,” the said film festival awarding ceremony shall be attended by guests from partner regional government agencies, local government units, media, and other stakeholders to be held here on September 29, 2016.
According to POPCOM Region III Director Eleanor M. Cura, the said Film Festival is POPCOM’s strategy to promote among the youth of Central Luzon the Population-Health-Environment (PHE) Approach anchored on the objective of the AHYD program which is to contribute to the improvement and promotion of the total well-being of young people.
“The PHE approach interlinks all factors and efforts on population, health, and environment and is based on the fundamental goals of a community having a long healthy life, an environment with sustainable resources for current and succeeding generations, as well as an environment that is livable and free from environmental issues,” Dir. Cura added.
The awards to be conferred during the said event include Best Film and two runners-up, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actor and Actress in a supporting role, Best Cinematography, Best Trailer and Best Poster. Winners of the said award shall receive cash prizes and plaques from POPCOM III while the Best Film awardee shall be the regional entry to the 2016 National AHYD Film Festival to be held December of this year.
To qualify for the film festival, participating schools for this year attended a film-making orientation facilitated by POPCOM III and critically-acclaimed Film and TV Director Zig M. Dulay during the second quarter of 2016.
Now on its second year, The AHYD film festival was conceptualized to promote the advocacy of AHYD and PPMP among the youth. During the first film festival, Region III emerged as 1st runner-up with its entry “Kanlungan” produced by St. Mary’s College of Baliuag in cooperation with the Municipality of Baliwag, Bulacan.
Recently, a promotional material was trending on social media due to one of its ways to prevent HIV/AIDS by avoiding “sexual intercourse to (sic) homosexual." And though the said promotional material bore the logo of the Commission on Population (POPCOM) particularly that of POPCOM Region VI, we are one with our fellow POPCOM regional office in strongly denying the production of the said material which included the misleading information offensive to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (LGBTIQ) members.
POPCOM, from the Central Office to its Regional Offices, assure that all of POPCOM-produced Information, Education, and Communication materials are well-researched and are properly reviewed and approved. Furthermore, POPCOM Region III also reiterates POPCOM Region VI’s statement that our agency “is a firm advocate of LGBT[IQ] rights and is working hard to end the stigma against LGBT[IQ] and HIV” through the conduct of programs, projects, and activities under the Philippine Population Management Program that also address the concerns of LGBTIQ members. The following statements from our partners and stakeholders can attest to the fact that POPCOM does not condone discrimination and stigma:
“POPCOM truly adheres [to] its advocacy to promote healthy lifestyle & responsible sexuality and assist the youth to avoid early sexual engagement, teenage pregnancies, early marriages, STIs and other psycho-social concerns by providing effective program strategies for the youth, considering their diverse socio-economic status, cultural background, age, sex, and gender within our rapidly changing environment.” (Ronald Joe Dela Cruz, PYAP Botolan Chapter President, Youth Leader, & Youth Development Sessions Facilitator for Zambales Province)
“A community with fair judgement and equality is what we aim in this country. As part of the health sector, proper health and wellness for everyone is our goal. Services must be given to people regardless of their race, social status, gender, sex and sexuality. We do not tolerate discrimination; we even fight against stigma and provide people with protection. We are advocates of [all] people’s rights.” (Aylmer Alimurong, Population Officer and Health Education and Promotions Officer, City of San Fernando, Pampanga/LGBT Rights Advocate)
“With the opportunity to cover POPCOM'S events for the past years, I believe that POPCOM does not advocate the standpoint of the IEC material in question. On the contrary, POPCOM has been promoting responsible parenthood and reproductive health, and other population-related strategies which incorporate the call to address the needs of the LGBT[IQ] community.” (Joelyn Baluyut, News and Public Affairs Writer, CNN Philippines)
POPCOM Region III understands that this incidence should be taken as an appropriate avenue for everyone, from the public sector to its major stakeholders, to discuss more not only about comprehensive and correct information on sexuality and reproductive health but also concerns and issues in addressing the needs of our LGBTIQ family and friends with utmost respect and dignity. Hence, POPCOM Region III shall continue to implement population-related initiatives that also integrate responses to needs of the LGBTIQ community, along with other equally important sectors of the society. We shall also look into the possibilities of revisiting and implementing among regional office staff as well as regional and local partners all capability building activities on gender and development of which sexual orientation and gender identity is a part of.
We ask for the support of regional and local partners, media, and all stakeholders concerned to help in appropriately propagating correct and comprehensive information through all possible means on sexuality and reproductive health as well as concerns and solutions to address the needs of all sectors of the population, LGBTIQ family and friends included.
August of every year is commemorated as the Family Planning (FP) Month. As part of the government’s goal to address unmet need for modern family planning in the country, POPCOM continues to support the celebration of the FP month to promote awareness about programs of the government in FP and actions parents can take if they want to plan for the number and spacing of their children.
The conduct of activities for the 2016 FP month also serves as a response to the President’s pronouncement of support during the first State of the Nation Address stating that “the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law must be put into full force and effect.”
With the Duterte Health Agenda’s “All for Health towards Health for All”, focusing on achieving zero unmet need for modern family planning, there is a pressing need for the government to promote awareness on RPRH and FP rights and to link demand generation with quality service delivery.
The 2016 Family Planning Month, themed “Breastfeeding and Family Planning: Keys to Sustainable Development,” opens another opportunity to advocate and generate demand for FP and RH services.
Hence, POPCOM Region III is set to conduct various activities within the month of August in order to reach intended audiences to further address unmet need for modern FP methods which include both natural (basal body temperature, cervical mucus, sympto-thermal, standard days, and Lactational-amenorrhea) and artificial and permanent FP methods (condom, contraceptive pills, injectable, intra-uterine device, bilateral tubal ligation, and non-scalpel vasectomy).
Different activities for the FP Month include information dissemination and FP counseling in selected public areas, offices, and establishments, capacity building of regional staff on FP, and coordination with regional and local partners in the conduct of FP month-related activities.
Through these, we hope to contribute to the current administration’s vision of achieving zero unmet for modern FP, which is defined as either a) individuals and/or couples that would like to practice modern FP but have no access to services or means to do so, or b) traditional FP users.
We enjoin everyone in the commemoration of the Family Planning Month for the attainment of well-planned, happy, healthy, and empowered Filipino families in Central Luzon.
With the advent of the eight 100 Millionth Symbolic Pinoys’ second birthday this July 27, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) Region III institutionalizes regional and local support from stakeholders and partners in a series of activities conducted by the said agency.
POPCOM Region III Director Cura stated that POPCOM Region III has established the support and assistance of regional partner agencies and local government units in ensuring the needs of the eight symbolic Pinoys.
“As the eight [100 Millionth] Symbolic Pinoys highlight the significance of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) in pursuing national and local development, this endeavor serves as a call to make every individual be born wanted and ensured of his/her basic needs, health, education, and other development concerns from birth to death, “ Dir. Cura added.
Dir. Cura also stated that “the public sector must ensure the delivery of services needed by the symbolic Pinoys anchored on the Core Development Milestones.”
POPCOM Region III’s partner agencies in the region have signed a manifesto of support to assist in the monitoring of the eight symbolic Pinoys. Similarly, POPCOM Region III shall also identify services that may be provided to the symbolic Pinoys and their families from the list to be provided by POPCOM’s partner agencies.
Similarly, POPCOM Region III’s partners from the local government units have also signed into an agreement to help monitor the symbolic Pinoys from the seven provinces and City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
To help celebrate the 2nd birthday of the eight 100 Millionth Symbolic Pinoys, POPCOM Region III has also provided cash gifts worth P 5,000 each for the eight symbolic Pinoys.
The 100 Millionth Symbolic Pinoys were selected and awarded last July 27, 2014. One baby from each of the seven provinces and one city in Region III was selected and awarded to be part of the eight 100 Millionth Symbolic Pinoy of Central Luzon through POPCOM Region III’s search for the symbolic 100 millionth Pinoys based on projections by POPCOM using population data from the Philippine Statistics Authority that the country’s population has reached 100 million Filipinos on July 27, 2014 12:06 am.