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Fncp Case Study

Fncp Case Study

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Published by: BeverLy on Apr 02, 2009
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TheCase Studies
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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.
fertility rates. In countries that have addressed health,education and gender issues in relation to poverty,populations have become manageable.Family planning is the conscious effort of fami-lies to determine when and how many children theyare going to have, by whatever means (natural orartificial) they are comfortable with. It encouragesfamilies to practice responsible parenthood through:(1)birth spacing and(2)the proper determination of a family size thatcan be sustained by family resources.Factors to consider would be the existing capaci-ties to provide for education, physical and emotionalhealth care. How the Philippine government pushesthe family planning/ responsible parenthood programthrough its line agencies nationwide is dependent onthe political will of its national leaders and its pro-gram administrators. Statistics cited by Dr. Tan citedin his article present a sad tale: “the total unmet needfor family planning in 2002 was 20.5 percent with 10.6percent for birth spacing and 9.9 percent for limitingbirths. This is reflective of the general lack of politicalwill of the national leadership to manage populationgrowth, in adherence to an effective population policy”.In the Philippines, the population control programis administered by the government through the Phil-ippine Population Management Program. The impactof the population program has yet to be felt, however,because the relevance of population as a developmentissue is underestimated. Many interpret family plan-ning as pertaining only to the issue of available livingspace. Few understand that population control needsto be discussed and evaluated as a program that isrelated not only to women’s reproductive rights, butalso to the access and enjoyment of basic economic,social and cultural rights (i.e. education, food secu-rity, etc.). Unless treated as such, the program’s suc-cess rate cannot be fully established.This is not the only obstacle. Other equally im-portant issues that have to be considered are levels ofincome and levels of access and control over basicresources. In situations where income levels are low,government will need to establish support systems thatwill make goods and services available to all (i.e. sub-sidized health and nutrition services and basic educa-tion services). But in reality, at the macro level, therapid growth of population makes it harder for govern-ment to provide adequate services for the poor, givenlow budget priority for basic services. The government,therefore, needs not only to strategize, but also to chooseappropriate approaches to address the problem.The Catholic Church’s hostility to artificial meth-ods of birth control poses a continuing threat to theeffective implementation of the family planning pro-gram nationwide. It has consistently and persistentlyopposed the promotion of artificial family planningmethods. Bowing to pressure from the Church, thepresent government has withdrawn support for theuse of artificial methods and now only promotes natu-ral family birth control. Another barrier is the culturallyingrained belief, particularly in the rural areas, that chil-dren are the family’s instruments for escaping poverty.Many parents view family size as an important gaugeof wealth when they have no money to measure itwith. It is their belief that a bigger number of childrenincrease the chances for poverty alleviation.Addressing the issue of gender inequality shouldbe central to the understanding of reproductive healthand family planning. To a vast degree, also, thesuccess of any family planning project depends onthe adequacy of financial resources allocated for itsimplementation. This should be coupled with theproper management and utilization of these re-sources, ensuring that the goals and objectives aremet through efficient program implementation.
Highlights Of The Study
Region III or Central Luzon, the third largest amongthe Philippines’ 16 regions, has a population size ac-counting for 10.50 percent of the country’s total. Thetotal population as of 1992 is 1.36 million and is grow-ing annually at a rate of 2.3 percent. It also has one ofthe highest numbers of individuals below the povertythreshold in rural areas. Its biggest province is NuevaEcija with a total land area of 564,245 hectares.A policy research family planning resource flowwas conducted by the Philippine Rural Reconstruc-

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