The COVID-19 pandemic created an unmistakable demarcation line in the country’s progress for attaining the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), despite the current administration’s amplified efforts on sexual and reproductive health rights and services (SRHRS) as well as population and development (POPDEV) figuring prominently its 10-point socioeconomic agenda.
With about a month to go before the national and local elections, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) strongly advocates for the next administration’s continuity of the country’s family planning program, as more Filipinos in recent years appreciate its concept and embrace its benefits.
The ongoing pandemic has manifested its polarizing effects on Filipinos’ socioeconomic standing, as it pushed more than 4 million individuals deeper into poverty, while lifting some 800,000 out of economic hardships.
According to recent Philippine Statistics Authority reports on official poverty statistics and causes of death, 4,300,000 Filipinos, or about 861,300 families, sank below the poverty threshold in regions which saw over 90% of COVID-19-related deaths as of September 2021.
The Commission on Population and Development – Region XII (POPCOM XII) turned over Surallah’s Ecological Profile (EP) books to the Municipality of Surallah, Province of South Cotabato last December 21, 2021. POPCOM XII Regional Director Edwin Mateo P. Quijano, assisted by Information Officer (IO) III Alvin Dwight Asentista and Project Evaluation Officer (PEO) II Carlito Tolog, personally handed over the SEP books to Mayor Antonio O. Bendita, together with the Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator (MPDC) Joyce A. Lubaton. Present were the Provincial Population Officer of South Cotabato, Ms. Zenaida A. Duron and her staff Tristan Navos and Vanessa Pamplona.