THE CASE STUDIES
A Case Study On Mobilizing Local ResourcesFor Family Planning In Northern Nueva Ecija
By Phi Omega Manubay, Shubert L. Ciencia, Edgar C. Paraguison (RN)and Cynthia Aguas
ome to 76 million Filipinos, the Philippines iscurrently the fourteenth most populous nationin the world. In an article written by Dr. JaimeGalvez Tan
, he states that “the Philippines is one of thefew countries in the world with a runaway populationgrowth rate of 2.36 percent. Since 1996, the nationalcontraceptive prevalence rate has been on a plateauhovering between 47 and 49 percent. More than twomillion Filipino babies will be born this year. That meansfour every minute, 240 per hour, 5,760 per day.”By 2005, the population is expected to balloonto more than 84 million. This is increasingly becom-ing a national concern, in light of the present eco-nomic and political instability and widespread pov-erty in the country. The family, as the basic unit ofsociety, will directly feel the impact of an increasingpopulation size. Since an increase in population sizedirectly translates into diminished access to food,education, health and employment, government mustprimarily address issues related to
(1)increasing incidence of poverty and(2) its capacity to provide basic social services thatwill help improve the quality of life of a growingpopulation and of women in particular.For most Filipino women, the burden of bearingchildren and the practice of almost single-handedlyrearing a child, exacts a heavy toll on their healthand well being. Unless women are empowered totake control of their lives, their fertility, their mother-hood and self-realization, they will not be able to fullyparticipate in the process of development. A trulyresponsive population management program musttake all these things into consideration, rather than just ascribe the phenomena of increasing economicpoverty to women’s reproductive health.Issues and concerns that result from sexual andreproductive systems and its related processes arecollectively known as women’s reproductive healthissues. These include pregnancy and childbirth, con-traception, abortion, infections of the reproductivetract, and cancers. Family planning under reproduc-tive health is also a major concern. Its importancelies not only in giving the woman control of her bodyand life, but also includes the benefits a developingcountry like the Philippines can derive from a man-ageable population.While a direct link between population growthand poverty is inconclusive, as some countries wherepopulation growth is slow remain underdeveloped,the direct correlation between fertility and poverty isthe norm. This is particularly true at the householdlevel. An increase in the number of dependents with-out a corresponding improvement in the householdeconomic status would translate into diminished ac-cess to resources for basic human survival. A largefamily size hampers the accumulation of physical andhuman capital. There is, thus, a higher incidence ofpoverty in households with more members.Nevertheless, not all countries that have suc-ceeded in their population control programs have ex-perienced development, since population size is butone factor in the development process. For instance,Indonesia continues to exhibit high infant mortalityrates despite very high contraceptive use and low
Phi Omega R. Manubay and Darwin C. Alonzo are both graduates of Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from the CentralLuzon State University, Muñoz. Nueva Ecija. They have been engaged in various social and political research projectssince 2000. Cynthia Aguas is presently a free-lance researcher/documentor and was part of the PRRM Gender Desk in1995. Shubert Ciencia is PRRM’s branch manager for Nueva Ecija.