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Population and Development (PopDev)

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Responsible Parenthood - Family Planning (RP-FP)

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Countdown to Gold

"POPCOM 50th Anniversary"

February 19, 2019

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Press Release
#LiftTRO Mobilization, turn-over of signatures to SC, and press conference

SC TRO: Krisis ng Matris
May 26, 2017

 

Wary of the impact of the TRO, more than 300,000 women signed a petition urging the Supreme Court to lift the existing TRO on the distribution, dispensing, and promotion of subdermal implants and on certification and recertification of family planning (FP) commodities.  More than a hundred of women and men mostly coming from urban poor communities went to the Supreme Court to submit the signed petition.


In June 2015,  the SC issued a TRO to DOH and its agents to “temporarily” stop “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive Implanon and Implanon NXT.”  The TRO escalated to prohibiting the DOH and the FDA from registering and recertifying contraceptives in the subsequent SC decision in August 2015.


As a result, fifteen certificates of product registration expired last 2016 while 10 expired as of May this year, leaving only 23 contraceptives available for the public. By 2020, no contraceptives can be procured from the market.  As such,  CPR expirations will effectively lead to a total phaseout of FP commodities in the market before 2020. Without FP commodities, the Philippines’ national Family Planning program will effectively be put to a halt. 

Press Release
Natural Family Planning Month
May 23, 2017

The month of May is celebrated as Natural Family Planning (NFP) Month pursuant to the Department of Health Department Circular No. 50-A, series of 1995.

Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP), as the flagship program of the Commission on Population (POPCOM), gives utmost importance to the rights of Filipino women by providing family planning information and services that will enable them to decide what method to use in accordance to their life aspirations, physical preparedness, and physical, social and economic capacities.  This is also in line with the enactment of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law.

Modern (as opposed to traditional) Natural Family Planning relies on body signals which change during the menstrual cycle as an indication of hormones causing ovulation.  Modern NFP does not include traditional and non-scientific methods such as withdrawal, calendar, and rhythm. Modern NFP which is based on fertility awareness consists of the following: Standard Days, Lactational Amenorrhea, Basal Body Temperature, Cervical Mucus and Sympto-Thermal methods.  These methods do not require drugs or devices and can be used by Filipino couples to achieve their desired timing, spacing and number of children.

Coherence and convergence: Key to managing risks and achieving sustainable development

 

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations – the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

 

-Loren Legarda (The Philippine Star)

 

http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

In 2015, two dominant themes that guided multilateral work were that of sustainable development and managing risks better as a global community.

There were four framework agreements that resulted from four separate multilateral processes – the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Sendai, March); the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development (Addis Ababa, July); the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (New York, September); and the Paris Agreement on climate change (Paris, December).

All of these agreements have one overriding objective – that of achieving inclusive, sustainable and resilient development for all. The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda sets out 17 sustainable development goals, including climate action.

Addressing the climate change and sustainable development nexus requires a firm grip on financing and resilience issues. Setting a development agenda is just one part of the story. Delivering the agenda into action, in a way that builds a more resilient global community, is the more important part. Without realistically addressing the problems of today’s climate realities and its risks, as well as financing, the lofty goals we have established on paper will remain just that – goals!

This underscores the importance of achieving greater coherence in multilateral agreements. There are four in 2015 alone.

On April 22 of this year, the Philippines and 174 other countries affixed their signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations –  the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to limit global temperature rise within the century “well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”

The Philippines pushed for a more ambitious ceiling of 1.5°C as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) representing 43 of the most vulnerable nations. We have taken this leadership for very good reasons.

Global warming has already breached the 1°C level and its impacts have been massive.

Over the past two decades, the Philippines endured a total of 274 natural calamities, making it the fourth most disaster-prone country in the world. Globally, 605,539 lives have been lost due to weather-related disturbances, 59 percentof which were accounted for by low- to lower- middle income countries.

These weather disturbances can derail countries off the development path as shown by the collective experiences of countries over the past decades, with economic losses from disasters now averaging $250 billion to $300 billion each year.

Seeking to sustain the momentum in global climate action, the Philippines has joined calls for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement.

Our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets 70 percent reduction of emissions by 2030 from the business-as-usual scenario of 2000-2030 in energy, transport, forestry, industry and waste. This goal, however, is conditional to the provision of the means of implementation that we will receive, whether through climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer.

The mobilization of the $100 billion Fund under the agreement is necessary to support vulnerable nations who happen to be low-emitting, developing economies. This Fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5°C goal. Additional support in the form of official development assistance commitments is also vital.

Further, there should be a 50-50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation. Funding should not only be on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Equal financial support must also be available to help the developing nations, who are the least emitters of carbon, but which bear the greatest brunt of climate change. The figures I shared illustrate this point.

Clearly, sustainable development can no longer be discussed without equal consideration given to disaster risk reduction, as well as climate and financing issues.

A careful consideration of the four key multilateral agreements will show that the word “development” was mentioned 103 times in the Sendai Framework; 253 times in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda; and 46 times in the Paris Agreement.

On the other hand, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development speaks of the fact that “there is no country in the world that is not seeing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change,” and calls for mobilizing $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.

There are points of convergence across these agreements on a number of issues, but the real test of these agreements come in the form of delivery at the state and community level.

At the national and local levels, legislative measures are needed to translate the principles enshrined in these instruments into action. In the Philippines, we have a National Development Plan covering different sectors, that serves as guide post to policy making and program delivery. The long-term view is vital as we chart a course of action to address the problems of today and create a resilient and progressive future.

The thrust should be no different at the multilateral level. We take inspiration from the goal of realizing inclusive, sustainable and resilient development as forged in the international arena. This needs to be translated, however, into action through effective legislations, governance, and service delivery at the national and local levels.

In the Philippines, we have numerous laws and policies on disaster resilience, environmental conservation and climate change adaptation as key components for sustainable development strategies. Among these are the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Environmental Awareness and Education Act, Climate Change Act, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Law. These are national instruments that have carried our international commitments into practical application at the national and local levels.

It has been a productive collaboration between the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which I chair, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE International) in raising the bar for climate and sustainable development policy making and advocacy in the country through our various fora and roundtable discussions. These are vital steps to realizing policy and legislative alignment.

GLOBE’s ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach, supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), calls for ‘mutually reinforcing’ outcomes from the 2015 agenda-setting summits and provides focus and direction for legislators. Nothing less is required. Coherence in all these summits and their outcome documents, most specially, the frameworks they produce, are required if these are to guide national and local legislation. No issue is ever more important than the other. No international body is more relevant than the rest. The global community is faced with the most grievous threats ever to face us and the moment requires us all to selflessly address these issues as one community.

By doing so, we can confidently say that that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of collective action.

We live in only one planet. The challenges we face today should make countries – developed and developing – realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, and individualism are concepts of medieval past. The truth is, we are all connected and in the case of climate change, we suffer and rise together.

Now is the time for coming together… for managing risks together as a global community.

* * *

(Senator Loren Legarda is the Chair of the Philippine Senate Committees on Climate Change, Finance, and Cultural Communities. She is also the Global Champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), Co-Chair of GLOBE Philippines, and member of the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum Executive Board. She is a UNEP laureate and a Global Leader for Tomorrow awardee by the World Economic Forum.)

- See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf
Coherence and convergence: Key to managing risks and achieving sustainable development - See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf
Coherence and convergence: Key to managing risks and achieving sustainable development - See more at: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/05/31/1588549/coherence-and-convergence-key-to-managing-risks-and-achieving-sustainable-development#sthash.fCGMOxkO.dpuf

News Article

The country’s population of 100.98 million recorded in 2015 was half a million lower than what was forecast in 2010,  an indication that population growth had slowed down nationwide as more couples use contraceptives, according to the Population Commission (PopCom).

The Popcom said the 2015 census results showed that the population grew nationwide by 1.72 percent last year, down from the 1.9 percent rate during the previous census in 2010.

It also showed a significant decline of unmet need for family planning from 23 percent in 2003 to 22 percent in 2008 and to 17 percent in 2013.

PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III on Wednesday attributed the decline in population growth to the use of modern contraceptives which increased to 45 percent of couples as of last year, up from 38 percent recorded by a national survey in 2013.

News Article

EVEN as the country is now seeing a slower population growth rate (PGR), six regions have managed to surpass the current trend.

Based on the 2015 Population Census, of the 18 regions of the country, six regions still surpassed the national population growth rate.

These are the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) with 2.89 percent; Calabarzon with 2.58 percent; Central Luzon with 1.95 percent; Soccksargen with 1.94 percent; Central Visayas with 1.76 percent; and Davao Region with 1.74 percent.

Commission on Population (Popcom) Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III pointed how Armm has the highest population growth despite having the largest number of people in the lowest wealth quintiles.

“We still need to exert greater efforts to reduce the unmet need for family planning and reproductive health services,” Perez said in a statement.

On the other hand, he said the growth rate in Calabarzon, Central Luzon, as well as Metro Manila can be attributed to migration since they have the largest number of population that are in the two highest quintiles or those deemed as richest.

“Migration is a factor why population increases in the three regions mentioned. If a region has a low poverty incidence, it means that there are opportunities in the region, which means people are enticed to live there because chances are they get the same opportunity in order for them to live life well,” said Perez.

Highlights of the Philippine Population 2015 Census of Population

 

  • The population of the Philippines as of August 1, 2015 was 100,981,437, based on the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN 2015).
  • The 2015 population is higher by 8.64 million compared with the population of 92.34 million in 2010, and by 24.47 million compared with the population of 76.51 million in 2000. Refer to Table 1.

Table 1. Population of the Philippines

(Based on the 2000, 2010, and 2015 Censuses)

Census Year Census Reference Date Population
(in millions)
2000 May 1, 2000 76.51
2010 May 1, 2010 92.34
2015 August 1, 2015 100.98
  • The Philippine population increased by 1.72 percent annually, on average, during the period 2010 to 2015. By comparison, the rate at which the country’s population grew during the period 2000 to 2010 was higher at 1.90 percent. See Table 2.

Table 2. Annual Population Growth Rate of the Philippines

(Based on the 2000, 2010, and 2015 Censuses)

Reference Period Annual Population Growth Rate (in percent)
2010-2015 1.72
2000-2010 1.90
  • Of the country’s 18 administrative regions, Region IV-A (CALABARZON) had the biggest population in 2015 with 14.41 million, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 12.88 million, and Region III (Central Luzon) with 11.22 million. The combined population of these three regions accounted for about 38.1 percent of the Philippine population in 2015.
  • The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was the fastest growing region with an average annual population growth rate (PGR) of 2.89 percent.
  • The country has 81 provinces. Of these provinces, Cavite was the most populous in 2015 with 3.68 million persons, followed by Bulacan (3.29 million), and Laguna (3.04 million). Twenty-four other provinces surpassed the one million population mark. Refer to Table 3.
  • Batanes was the smallest province in terms of population size with 17,246 persons. Two other provinces posted a population size of less than 100,000. These are Siquijor (95,984) and Camiguin (88,478).

Table 3. Provinces With More Than One Million Population: 2015

Rank Province

Population

(in thousands)

Rank Province

Population

(in thousands

1 Cavite 3,678 15 Isabela 1,594
2 Bulacan 3,292 16 Bukidnon 1,415
3 Laguna 3,035 17 Cotabato (North Cotabato) 1,380
4 Pangasinan 2,957 18 Tarlac 1,366
5 Cebu* 2,939 19 Negros Oriental 1,355
6 Rizal 2,884 20 Albay 1,315
7 Batangas 2,694 21 Bohol 1,314
8 Negros Occidental* 2,497 22 Cagayan 1,199
9 Pampanga* 2,198 23 Maguindanao 1,174
10 Nueva Ecija 2,151 24 Lanao del Sur 1,045
11 Camarines Sur 1,953 25 Davao del Norte 1,016
12 Iloilo* 1,936 26 Zamboanga del Norte 1,011
13 Quezon* 1,857 27 Zamboanga del Sur* 1,011
14 Leyte* 1,752

                           * Excluding the population of highly urbanized cities.

  • The Philippines has 33 highly urbanized cities (HUCs). Four of these HUCS had surpassed the one million population mark, namely, Quezon City (2.94 million), City of Manila (1.78 million), Davao City (1.63 million), and Caloocan City (1.58 million). 
  • The country has 1,489 municipalities. The three largest municipalities in terms of population size are all located in the province of Rizal. These are the municipalities of Rodriquez (Montalban) with 369,222 persons, Cainta (332,128), and Taytay (319,104). Fifteen other municipalities had a population size of more than 150,000. See Table 4.
  • The municipality of Kalayaan in Palawan was the smallest municipality in 2015, in terms of population size, with 184 persons.

Table 4. Municipalities With More Than 150,000 Population: 2015

Rank Municipality Province Population
1 Rodriguez (Montalban) Rizal 369,222
2 Cainta Rizal 332,128
3 Taytay Rizal 319,104
4 Binangonan Rizal 282,474
5 Santa Maria Bulacan 256,454
6 San Mateo Rizal 252,527
7 Silang Cavite 248,085
8 Tanza Cavite 226,188
9 Marilao Bulacan 221,965
10 Santo Tomas Batangas 179,844
11 Lubao Pampanga 160,838
12 Gen. Mariano Alvarez Cavite 155,143
13 Mexico Pampanga 154,624
14 Pikit Cotabato (North Cotabato) 154,441
15 Concepcion Tarlac 154,188
16 San Miguel Bulacan 153,882
17 Polomolok South Cotabato 152,589
18 Midsayap Cotabato (North Cotabato) 151,684
  • There are 42,036 barangays in the country. The largest barangay in terms of population size is Barangay 176 in Caloocan City with 247 thousand persons. It was followed by Commonwealth in Quezon City (198,285) and Batasan Hills in Quezon City (161,409). Twelve other barangays posted a population size of more than a hundred thousand persons. See Table 5.

Table 5. Barangays with More Than 100,000 Population: 2015

Rank Barangay City/Municipality/Province Population
1 Barangay 176 Caloocan City 246,515
2 Commonwealth Quezon City 198,285
3 Batasan Hills Quezon City 161,409
4 Pinagbuhatan City of Pasig 151,979
5 Payatas Quezon City 130,333
6 San Jose Rodriguez (Montalban), Rizal 124,868
7 San Isidro Rodriguez (Montalban), Rizal 117,277
8 Poblacion City of Muntinlupa 115,387
9 Cupang City of Antipolo, Rizal 113,613
10 Holy Spirit Quezon City 110,447
11 Barangay 178 Caloocan City 107,596
12 Muzon City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan 106,603
13 San Juan Taytay, Rizal 103,343
14 Pasong Tamo Quezon City 103,100
15 San Jose (Pob.) City of Antipolo, Rizal 103,051
  • The POPCEN 2015 was undertaken by the Philippine Statistics Authority in August 2015 pursuant to Republic Act No. 10625, also known as the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013 and Executive Order No. 352 – Designation of Statistical Activities That Will Generate Critical Data for Decision-Making of the Government and the Private Sector, which stipulates the conduct of a mid-decade census primarily to update the population count in all barangays nationwide. 
  • Information on the count of the population were collected with 12:01 a.m. of August 1, 2015 as the census reference time and date.
  • His Excellency President Benigno S. Aquino III declared as official for all purposes the population counts by province, city/municipality, and barangay, based on the POPCEN 2015 under Proclamation No. 1269 dated 18 May 2016.  The population counts were based on census questionnaires accomplished by about 90,000 enumerators deployed during the nationwide census taking. 
  • The successful completion of the census-taking was made possible with the support of the local and national officials, government agencies, local government units, media, private agencies, and non-government organizations.

 

 

- Lisa grace s. Bersales, ph.D.

National Statistician 

- See more at: http://psa.gov.ph/content/highlights-philippine-population-2015-census-population#sthash.GBdCmhl9.dpuf

Alarming cases of AIDS/HIV cases noted in Palawan

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan – Among the provinces in MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) region, Palawan has the most number of recorded cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) infection, which the Department of Health (DOH) considers as “very alarming”.

The DOH-Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB) said in its latest report that four cases of full-blown AIDS are reported in Palawan with 59 asymptomatic cases or 59 patients who are carriers of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection but showed no traces of infection.

Melanie G. Montes, DOH senior health program officer, reported that two AIDS cases have also been listed in Oriental Mindoro, one in Marinduque, while Occidental Mindoro and Romblon post zero AIDS cases.

In Palawan, the DOH-EB report was confirmed by Dr. Louie R. Ocampo of the Ospital ng Palawan who revealed that from 1984 to 2014, they have accepted at least 38 AIDS cases for treatment and 40 asymptomatic cases in Puerto Princesa in 2015.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg, that’s why we need the help of everybody, particularly the media, in our AIDS awareness campaign to fully inform the public about its risks and at the same time to tell them that there are accessible and affordable services being offered by the government,” Dr. Ocampo told MIMAROPA-based media practitioners in a two-day DOH-MIMAROPA-sponsored media forum held last Wednesday (March 16, 2016) at AA Plaza Hotel in Brgy. San Miguel, Puerto Princesa.

Ocampo emphasized that HIV, which is the virus that gives rise to AIDS disease, could only be transmitted by an infected person through high risk fluids such as blood, breast milk, and sexual fluids.

It cannot be transferred via human saliva or through the air, Ocampo said.

The doctor said Ospital ng Palawan is now a treatment hub for AIDS patients. It also offers medical services similar to those being offered by the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, the country’s main AIDS treatment facility.

Montes said the DOH is also considering the expansion of its satellite treatment hubs to other regions in to reduce the spread of this type of communicable disease.

- Jerry J. Alcayde

http://www.mb.com.ph/alarming-cases-of-aidshiv-cases-noted-in-palawan/

 

DOH opens center for HIV-AIDS patients in Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa City, Palawan — The Department of Health (DOH) regional office formally opened yesterday the “Amos Tara!,” a community center located on Abad Santos Street, this city, which now provides testing, treatment and referrals for the growing number of individuals availing HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) services.

DOH logo

“This center creates an opportunity to reach out to vulnerable individuals in the community and encourage them to voluntarily submit themselves for HIV testing,” said DOH-Mimaropa (Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Regional Director Dr. Eduardo C. Janairo.

“Amos Tara!” is a facility that will provide fast, free and convenient HIV testing and education services for those wishing to have themselves tested and properly informed and updated regarding HIV prevention and control strategies,” Dr. Janairo said.

The center will conduct HIV tests including pre- and post-test counseling and will open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. from Wednesdays to Sundays.

In this city alone, there are nine HIV positive cases and 69 asymptomatic or carriers of the virus, based on record. Most of them are male aged between 25 and 34.

-Jerry J. Alcayde

http://www.mb.com.ph/?p=428708

POPULATION COUNT GOES PAST 100M

The country’s official population count went over the 100 million mark in 2015, jumping by more than eight million from 2010 when the last official census was conducted.

 According to the 2015 Census of Population released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the population of the Philippines as of August 1, 2015 was 100,981,437.

 The 2015 population is higher by 8.64 million compared with the population of 92.34 million in 2010, and by 24.47 million compared with the population of 76.51 million in 2000.

 “The Philippine population increased by 1.72 percent annually, on average, during the period 2010 to 2015,” PSA said.

 “By comparison, the rate at which the country’s population grew during the period 2000 to 2010 was higher at 1.9 percent,” it added.

 Of the country’s 18 administrative regions, Region IV-A (CALABARZON) had the biggest population in 2015 with 14.41 million, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 12.88 million and Region III (Central Luzon) with 11.22 million.

 The combined population of these three regions accounted for about 38.1 percent of the Philippine population in 2015.

 The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was the fastest growing region with an average annual population growth rate of 2.89 percent.

 Of the country’s 81 provinces, Cavite was the most populous in 2015 with 3.68 million persons, followed by Bulacan, 3.29 million and Laguna, 3.04 million.

 PSA said 24 other provinces surpassed the one million population mark. 

Batanes province had the smallest population size with 17,246 persons. Two other provinces posted a population size of less than 100,000, Siquijor (95,984) and Camiguin (88,478).

 The Philippines has 33 highly urbanized cities, four of which surpassed the one million population mark: Quezon City (2.94 million), the City of Manila (1.78 million), Davao City (1.63 million) and Caloocan City (1.58 million).

 Meanwhile, of the 1,489 municipalities, the three largest in terms of population size are all located in the province of Rizal: Rodriquez (Montalban) with 369,222 persons, Cainta, 332,128 and Taytay, 319,104. 

PSA said 15 other municipalities had a population size of more than 150,000. 

The municipality of Kalayaan in Palawanhad a population of 184 persons making it the smallest municipality in 2015.

 As for the country’s 42,036 barangays, Barangay 176 in Caloocan City was the largest with a population size of 247,000 persons, followed by Commonwealth with 198,285 and Batasan Hills with 161,409, both in Quezon City. 

According to PSA, 12 other barangays posted a population size of more than a hundred thousand persons.

 PSA said the population counts were based on census questionnaires accomplished by about 90,000 enumerators deployed during the nationwide census taking.

 

-Malaya Business Insight

 

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/business/population-count-goes-past-100m

PHILHEALTH HOLDS SHINES

 

AT least 30 representatives from the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Commission on Audit (COA) and Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) gathered recently at the Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City to learn about the salient points of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Act of 2013 or Republic Act 10606.

Through the Social Health Insurance Education Series (SHInES) organized by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth),  these government employees were thoroughly oriented on the various aspects of the NHIP to inculcate among them better appreciation of the NHIP. The SHInES was also aimed at providing comprehensive and relevant information as well as updates on new policies issued by PhilHealth.

Dr. Israel Francis A. Pargas, OIC-Vice President for Corporate Affairs Group welcomed the participants to the learning session. “You are now here wearing two hats. First, you are all members. As members, you should know what PhilHealth is. You should also know the different benefits, how to go about these benefits and its availment. Second, you’re wearing the hat of being in the policy-making /direction.  So today, we are expecting a lot of participation from everyone from these two hats,” he said.

Alexander A. Padilla, PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer appealed to the participants to help  support the program, stressing that  the NHIP is one of the best programs of the administration. 

Esperanza S. Ocampo, President of the Philippine Government Employees Association, said that “in doing quality public service, the aspiration and motivation of government employees depend upon the government institution,” and that in PhilHealth “we tried our best to deliver output,” she added.

On the other hand, Dr. Francisco Z. Soria, Jr., OIC-Vice President for Quality Assurance Group discussed the details of the different benefit packages such as the Inpatient Care benefits being paid for through Case Rates, Primary Care, MDG benefits, Emerging Diseases. He also tackled the No Balance Billing (NBB) Policy, and reported that the implementation of the NBB in government hospitals had tremendously increased  from  13 percent when  it was first implemented in 2012, to 51 percent by 2015.

Alberto C. Manduriao, OIC-Vice President for Member Management Group shared with participants the details of the different membership categories, highlighting the 92 percent effective PhilHealth coverage as of December 2015. He also identified the different challenges and opportunities faced by PhilHealth such as the mandatory membership for all Filipinos, sustainability of the membership coverage and extending coverage to the uncovered informal economy members.

Gregorio C. Rulloda, OIC-Senior Vice President of  the Fund Management Sector handled the financial position of PhilHealth. He clarified that the total annual costs for operations as mandated, shall not exceed the sum total of the following: 4 percent of the total premium contributions collected during the immediately preceding year; 2.4 percent of the total reimbursements or total cost of health services paid by PhilHealth in the immediately preceding year; and 3.5 percent of the investment earnings generated during the immediately preceding year.

The SHInES for this batch is the 23rd session since it started in 2012 and the second for this year. It was spearheaded by the Corporate Affairs Group, led by SHIA. 

 

- Malaya Business Insight

 

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/living/philhealth-holds-shines

The Justice Institute: Looking at laws to stop gender violence

For the past decades, campaigns on violence against women have intensified. The world has been finally responding, albeit slowly. There is an increasing global momentum to stop violence against women. Laws and legislation have been signed and enacted, and the victims taking courage and reporting the abuses they suffered.

And yet, domestic violence still persists. It remains one of the most under-reported crimes globally. Women and children alike are still being beaten, trafficked, raped and killed. They still suffer from abuses and discrimination. 
What could be the problem? Why do these human right abuses continue, causing harm and suffering to women and tearing the fabric of humanity? 
“Significant gaps in legal frameworks remain. States throughout the world are still failing to live up to their international obligations and commitments to prevent and address violence against women. Too many perpetrators are not held accountable. Impunity persists. Women continue to be re-victimized through the legal process.” (Handbook for Legislation on Violence against Women, 2009)
Avon Foundation for Women program director Christine Jaworksy echoed the same sentiment. “Although each country faces different challenges, the delegations have reported a common barrier: existing laws are not understood or consistently enforced, leaving women unprotected and their abusers unaccountable.” 
On the foreword of the Handbook for Legislation on Violence Against Women, United Nations deputy secretary general Asha-Rose Migiro described how these laws should be: “Comprehensive legislation provides the foundation for a holistic and effective response. Such legislation must be consistently enforced and monitored, and adequate resources must be allocated to address the problem. Personnel and officials working in the field must have the skills, capacity and sensitivity to apply the spirit and letter of the law. Laws must inform a concerted effort that includes education, awareness raising and community mobilization. They must also contribute to tackling discriminatory stereotypes and attitudes, and they must mandate the research and knowledge-building that are necessary to support policy development.”
And this is the challenging task The Justice Institute on Gender-based Violence ventures forth. Established through the public-private partnership between Avon Foundation for Women, Vital Voices and the US Department of State (dubbed Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women), the Justice Institute has been designed to ensure that existing laws do what they are meant to do. This campaign recognizes the power of the law as useful tools to provide justice, support, protection and remedies to victims if they are properly implemented. 
An innovative and interactive multidisciplinary training and technical assistance collaboration, the Justice Institute aims to improve victim protection efforts and the criminal justice system to domestic violence in the Philippines by facilitating a more holistic response. By bringing together judges, court officers, public prosecutors, police officers, representatives of government agencies and non-governmental service providers, it hopes to ensure a strong collaboration between the legal stakeholders. 
Addressing extreme forms of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices all around the world, the alliance has funded and launched institutes in Nepal, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and India. And now it has come to the Philippines. To kick start the campaign in the Philippines, the institute conducted a three-day training on domestic violence and sexual violence laws recently at the Manila Diamond Hotel. 
The speakers included Jaworsky, Avon Products Inc. CEO Sheri McCoy, Vital Voices Global Partnership Human Rights vice president Cindy Dyer, and Action Against Violence and Exploitation Inc. (ACTVE) founder and executive director Cristinal Sevilla. Both international and local experts discussed how the laws should be implemented, and why it is important to do so. 
“When women have the opportunity to earn, their children have the greater opportunities to learn. Their families are healthier; their communities stronger. But domestic and sexual violence are major barriers to the social and economic empowerment of women, and it violates the basic dignity and opportunity that every woman deserves. Through our experiences, we learned that no matter how sound the financial opportunity, women cannot truly be empowered unless their health and safety are guaranteed. The Justice Institutes mirror this woman-centric approach,” said McCoy.
The institute seeks a culture change in law enforcement. For starter, police officers responding to domestic violence calls should stop looking at it as “family private matters.” Also, there are those who would respond to this call by telling the abusers to just take a walk and cool off, or advising the victims to just forgive and forget. 
Training of officials handling the cases is a must. Learning the best way to intervene and investigate domestic violence cases should be prioritized as well. Oftentimes, women victims get discouraged when law enforcers act out of line. There are some cases where police officers on the crime scene couldn’t determine who the aggressor was and feel compelled to take both parties into police custody; thus, further scarring the victims. 
Legislators should also look at further amending legal frameworks on violence against women. For instance, giving domestic violence victims other options. Looking at the legal process that abused women go through, it can sometimes leave them financially strapped. There must be another way, a much-more coordinated and comprehensive approach to this challenge. 
“While this is an impressive effort, we know we can’t change the devastating statistics of gender violence alone. Transformation takes real commitment and partnership,” said Jaworksky who also shared since Avon launched the Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative in 2004, the global company has contributed more than $60 million to support awareness, education, direct services and prevention programs aimed at stopping gender violence in nearly 50 countries.
Businessman-turned-actor Richard Yap, who has been advocating the cause ever since he became Avon’s ambassador two years ago, responded: “As a man, I believe I represent an important perspective on domestic violence. Men are often seen as being the ‘problem’ in this equation, when actually and most importantly, we are called to be part of the solution.” 
He urged men to be aware as involved as women are because “we have women and children in our lives. We must own this problem, men and women together, and empower each other to speak out against domestic violence and break the cycle.”

 

-Ma. Glaiza Lee, Contributor

 

http://www.tribune.net.ph/life-style/the-justice-institute-looking-at-laws-to-stop-gender-violence

Nobody dares take up the population issue

IT took decades for Congress to pass a bill regulating the population for the health of infants and their mothers. Up to this time the law has no implementing rules and regulations. Congress would not even think of discussing it.

It is abundantly clear the State is scared of the wrath of the Catholic church which dominates the voting population to the extent of an estimated 60-70 percent. Therefore Catholics elect the President even if they oppose the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law.

In fact if we put together followers or believers of other religious the number of Catholics outnumbers them in any election. The freedom from hunger and diseases are important reasons the birth rate should be regulated.

Isn’t it a sin to force the hungry poor to commit crimes to fill their empty stomachs?

It seems the politicians want to help multiply the number of poor people who are easy to hoodwink with perennial promises none of which is ever fulfilled. Yet every election time these candidates never tire repeating the same old promises the poor have the same of freedom from hunger guaranteed or specified by the Constitution.

I have long noted the population in the rural areas is increasing because many of the beneficiaries of land reform have sold or hocked their properties given to them. The land owners who used to own them either sell their bonds maturing in 25 years or sell them at a fat discount.

Damn the rich who live a life of abundance while the poor die without food in their stomach. It is relevant to state here the Biblical saying “it is easier for a poor man to enter the Kingdom of heaven than for a rich man to be where God is”.

I will tirelessly repeat what Thomas Malthus said in the 18th century. He pointed out if the causes of deaths – wars and pestilence which were the effective ways of reducing the number of people – man will have to exercise self restraint. Otherwise man’s need for food cannot be met with higher productivity.

This is beginning to be seen and felt in the urban and rural areas in this country as shown by the increasing number of people in the cities and rural areas where birth rate is uncontrolled.

Until politicians to explain to the voters the necessity of self restraint in sex or use artificial method of delaying – or preventing if not avoiding pregnancies – we have instead the teachings of the Church that sex is not a sin during  a week when the woman cannot get pregnant.

The same Church claims the right to multiply is inviolable under the laws of God. God did not invent this law;  Rome did. The Catholic Church is violating biological needs by prohibiting the use of artificial means that prevent pregnancies. I say man is entitled to his own carnal happiness if it is done under civil laws.

It also tramples the law by prohibiting the implementation of the population program. The Catholic Church has no concern for the poor. It enjoys tax free privileges. Its expensive schools are also tax free.

It’s time we begin to strengthen our faith in God by not having children who grow in ignorance and hunger. The big number of people is forcing them to criminality.

 

-Amado P. Macasaet

 

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/opinion/nobody-dares-take-population-issue

A total of 133 POPCOM staff and 7 teams emerged as winners as they brought home priceless experience and new found friends after the “Gender and Development (GAD) Assembly cum Team Building” last April 26-28 at the Beach Front Resort, Morong, Bataan.

 

For the first time, the Central Office together with four POPCOM Regional Offices  (I, III, IV, and  NCR) united to build camaraderie, create fun, and promote gender sensitive environment. While every region stood for their own team, the Central Office was segregated to three teams such as Yellow, Blue, and Orange.

 GAD YellowGAD RPO4

BDO Foundation and Beiersdorf opens health center

BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, has successfully completed the rehabilitation of Catbalogan Main Health Center in Western Samar in partnership with Beiersdorf Philippines Inc.

It is the eighth project BDO Foundation has undertaken with Beiersdorf Philippines, the global skincare company behind the NIVEA brand, as part of the partners’ joint efforts to rehabilitate provinces affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

The newly refurbished Catbalogan Main Health Center was turned over to local officials in an inauguration led by BDO Samar-Catbalogan branch head Jimellee Rojas, BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, Beiersdorf Philippines president Konstantin Stremme, and Beiersdorf Philippines HR and admin manager Alice Cayaban.

The event was also attended by Catbalogan mayor Stephany Uy-Tan, Catbalogan vice mayor Art Sherwin Gabon and city health officer Dr. Gerarda Tizon.

Included in the reconstruction of the health center are its facilities for children and the elderly, consultation rooms, minor surgery and treatment rooms, pharmacy, dental clinic, labor room and breastfeeding area.

The rehabilitation of birthing facilities is in keeping with the United Nations Millennium Development Goal for the improvement of maternal health. The health center’s birthing facility averages around 30 to 40 deliveries per month.

Established in 1982, Catbalogan Main Health Center serves a population of more than 101,000 individuals–including senior citizens, pregnant mothers, children and babies, and other patients–from 57 barangays.

 

- Malaya Business Insight

 

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/living/bdo-foundation-and-beiersdorf-opens-health-center

Greetings to all.

 

Please be informed of the following C4C Year 3 revised schedules:

 

[1] C4C Year 3 Recruitment Activities:

 

(a) Application deadline - extended to July 3, 2015;

(b) USAID/CHANGE Screening and selection of qualified applicants on June 29- July 10

(c) Submission of enrollment requirements by short-listed applicants on July 24- August 7

(d) Final list of enrollees on August 17 – 28

 

[2] C4C Year 3 boot camps on November 2-6 and 9-13 at AIM Conference Center

 

[3] C4C Year 3 three 2-day mid-course conferences on January 2016 at AIM Conference Center

 

[4] C4C Year 3 Awarding Ceremony on July 2016 at AIM Conference Center (due to May 2016 National and Local Elections)

Advocates mourn loss of RH champion Tomas Osias

Osias is revered as PopCom's longest-serving executive director, hailed as a 'passionate and committed advocate, and a father to all'

ADVOCATE. Former PopCom head Tomas Osias is remembered by many for his support for reproductive rights. Photo from Osias' Facebook

ADVOCATE. Former PopCom head Tomas Osias is remembered by many for his support for reproductive rights. Photo from Osias' Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Reproductive rights advocate and former Commission on Population (PopCom) head Tomas Osias passed away on Saturday, May 16.

The PopCom mourned the loss of a great “leader, mentor, and friend.”

Osias is revered as PopCom's longest-serving executive director, hailing him as a “passionate and committed advocate, and a father to all.”

During his term as PopCom head, Osias was at the helm of implementing the government’s family planning programs. He was a staunch advocate of promoting responsible parenthood, years even before the Reproductive Health (RH) law was passed in 2012.

His advocacy tried to educate the Filipino public about the intersections of poverty, maternal and infant health, with a strong focus on teaching effective and affordable family planning methods. He reminded couples that they have the right to choose whatever method they prefer, be it natural or artificial, as long as they make informed choices.

“Mr Osias, called Boss Tom by PopCom employees, wanted journalists to understand fully the breadth and scope of reproductive health and rights,” Diana Mendoza, his former media consultant, posted on Facebook.

“Although aware of his limitations as a communicator, he made sure his male voice was as strong as loud as the women’s who never budged fighting for RH. Even as PopCom was being tossed around by DOH, NEDA, and whoever was sitting president at that time, he continued nudging everyone in his circle to resurrect the badly wounded RH Bill into something new and better again,” Mendoza continued.

In 2004, Osias also supported a Muslim decree on RH, stressing that the importance of family planning transcends religions and cultures. He is also known for defying then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whose stand on RH was opposite his.

Mendoza said that Osias’ dream finally came true through the RH law. “I’m certain he believes that this is the beginning of what he has hoped for, and that he can have the rest he deserves.” – Rappler.com

‘Implement RH law properly to fight cervical cancer’

Many of the factors that increase a woman's risk of developing cervical cancer can be prevented if government promotes sex education and reproductive health

MANILA, Philippines – Aside from vaccination, what else can help prevent cervical cancer, which is prevalent in the Philippines?

For women's health advocate Elizabeth Angsioco, it's the proper implementation of the reproductive health (RH) law.

"I want to think that the proper implementation of RH law will have a good impact in terms of perhaps prevention of cervical cancer, because obviously the two are very much related," Angsioco said on Wednesday, May 13, during a forum on cervical cancer led by Likhaan Center for Women's Health.

Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer among women. Every year, the Philippines reports at least 6,000 cervical cancer cases and 12 deaths. (QUIZ: What's your cervical cancer risk profile?)

Gynegologic oncologist Cecilia Ladines-Llave from the Philippine General Hospital cited at least 7 risk factors of cervical cancer, the "silent killer":

  • early first sexual intercourse (less than 20 years old)
  • multiple sexual partners
  • sexually-transmitted diseases
  • having 5 or more children
  • previous pap smear tests yielding abnormal results
  • smoking
  • weak immune system

More awareness needed

Angsioco, who is national chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, said early first sexual intercourse is "very common in our communities." Meanwhile, the absence of education on reproductive health and sexuality is "partly to blame" for risky behaviors, such as having multiple sexual partners.

The first 3 factors, she added, are all "directly related to the reproductive health law."

The controversial law requires government health centers to hand out free contraceptives and mandates sex education in schools. It also legalizes post-abortion medical care.

Until now, however, even more than a year after the Supreme Court declared the RH law as constitutional in 2014, Angsioco said women in communities still admit they "know nothing" about health issues, such as cervical cancer. (READ: Next in RH battle: Full implementation by DOH, LGUs)

"As in other issues, women who are economically marginalized are twice or even more vulnerable to diseases such as cervical cancer and they are more at risk because of scarcity in financial resources [and] lack of education," Angsioco said.

In August, the Department of Health (DOH) will give free vaccines against the human papillomavirus (HPV) to 300,000 female, Grade 4 students in the 20 poorest provinces in the country. (READ: Health advocates worry about HPV vaccination in August)

HPV is a virus that causes cervical cancer. The HPV vaccine is recommended before young girls become sexually active.

Meanwhile, for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month this May, DOH urged women to go to 65 hospitals nationwide for free cervical cancer screening.

Rappler.com

Cervical cancer vaccine image via Shutterstock

3M families went hungry in Q1 2015, the fewest number in a decade – SWS

Some three million Filipino families went hungry in the first quarter of 2015, the fewest number of  families to experience involuntary hunger during a quarter in a decade, a survey taken by pollster Social Weather Stations found.

According to the SWS poll, the first quarters hunger figure of three million families or 13.5 percent of Filipino families was not only lower than 2014's fourth quarter figure of 17.2 percent or about 3.8 million families, it was the lowest figure since May 2005, when 12 percent of families claimed having experienced involuntary hunger.

SWS published the 2015 first quarter hunger findings a week after noting that first quarter self-rated poverty among Filipino families was at 51 percent, a point below 2014's fourth quarter of 52 percent.

The first quarter's self-rated food poverty also dropped to 36 percent from the previous quarter's 41 percent.

A geographical breakdown of the three million families who went hungry in the first quarter of 2015 finds that:

  • In Metro Manila, 382,000 families (12.7 percent) went hungry, two points down from the 14.7 percent (about 438,000 families) the previous quarter. The first quarter figure was the lowest since the 12 percent in March 2014.
  • In Balance Luzon, 1.4 million families (14.3 percent) went hungry, four points down from the 18.3 percent (1.8 million families) the previous quarter. This was the lowest figure since the 12.7 percent in December 2012.
  • In the Visayas, 470,000 families or 11 percent went hungry, a 5.4 percent drop from the 16.4 percent (690,000 families) the previous quarter. This was the area's lowest figure since the 10.3 percent in March 2012.
  • In Mindanao, 726,000 families or 14.3 percent went hungry, down from the previous quarter's 17.3 percent (867,000 families). This was the fewset number of hungry families since the 13 percent in September 2013.


Moderate, severe hunger

The SWS first quarter poll found that 2.5 million families (11.1 percent) experienced “moderate hunger”, meaning they lacked food “only once” or “a few times” in the last three months.

Moderate hunger was 2.1 percentage points down from the 13.2 percent (2.9 million families) in 2014's fourth quarter.

About 2.4 percent of respondents (522,000 families) said they experienced “severe hunger” - they had nothing to eat “often” or “always.”

This was down 1.7 percent from the 4.1 percent (about 888,000 families) the previous quarter.

Overall hunger

Among the self-rated poor, overall hunger dipped to 19.2 percent from 21.3 percent in the fourth quarter, and among the “not-poor” or those “on the borderline” to 7.4 from 12.8 percent.

SWS also pointed out that fewer Filipinos who rated themselves “food-poor” felt hungry in the first quarter of 2015, falling to 23.9 from 28.8 percent in December.

Hunger was also down 1.3 points among those who said they were “not food-poor/food borderline,” to 7.7 from 9 percent.

The SWS poll was taken from March 20 to 23 among 1,200 adult respondents nationwide, with sampling error margins of three points for national percentages and six points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Joel Locsin/DVM, GMA News

 

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/485686/news/nation/3m-families-went-hungry-in-q1-2015-the-fewest-number-in-a-decade-sws

3M families went hungry in Q1 2015, the fewest number in a decade – SWS

More from: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/485686/news/nation/3m-families-went-hungry-in-q1-2015-the-fewest-number-in-a-decade-sws
3M families went hungry in Q1 2015, the fewest number in a decade – SWS

More from: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/485686/news/nation/3m-families-went-hungry-in-q1-2015-the-fewest-number-in-a-decade-sws
3M families went hungry in Q1 2015, the fewest number in a decade – SWS

More from: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/485686/news/nation/3m-families-went-hungry-in-q1-2015-the-fewest-number-in-a-decade-sws

The Federation of the League of Population Officers and Workers (FLEPOWPHIL) supported by the Commission on Population (POPCOM) conducted the FLEPOWPHIL National Conference on April 22-24, 2015 at Hotel Rembrandt, Tomas Morato, Quezon City, with the theme: “Sama-samang Pagkilos, Bigyang Halaga Bawat Pilipino sa Pagsulong ng RP-RH Law”.

Improved child mortality rates in Metro Manila seen – survey

By Jodesz Gavilan

IMPROVED CARE. Filipino mothers breastfeed their newly born babies during the 'First Embrace' campaign for Early Essential Newborn Care of the World Health Organization (WHO) inside Fabella government maternity hospital in Manila, Philippines, 04 March 201

IMPROVED CARE. Filipino mothers breastfeed their newly born babies during the 'First Embrace' campaign for Early Essential Newborn Care of the World Health Organization (WHO) inside Fabella government maternity hospital in Manila, Philippines, 04 March 2015

MANILA, Philippines – An improvement was seen in Metro Manila as prevalence of child mortality has been halved over a period of 15 years, a latest study by Save the Children revealed.

The metropolis is part of a list that includes 6 cities hailed by the non-governmental organization in its 16th State of the World’s Mothers report. The 6 cities include: Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Cairo in Egypt, Kampala in Uganda, Guatemala City in Guatemala, Delhi in India, and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

According to the report, child mortality among families suffering from poverty in Metro Manila dropped to 38 deaths per 1,000 lives in 2009 from 1993’s 81. It is estimated that it achieved a 4-point reduction annually over the course of 15 years.

Meanwhile, the Philippines’ average under-5 mortality rate since 2013 is at 29.9 per 1,000 lives.

Improvement in urban setting?

The child survival gap has also been significantly reduced – especially in the urban seting.

The report found that in 2015, the poorest urban child is twice as likely to die compared to his wealthy counterpart. The gap was previously estimated to be at 4 times.

Save the Children said the improvement is the “combined result of several factors.” These include the local government units’ effort in improving the quality of basic social services, maternal services, public-private partnerships, investment in health workers, and policy reforms, among others.

These innovations were said to be “unique to the capital region.”

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)’s flagship project – the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) – was also hailed in its contribution to the improvement.

Under 4Ps, poor households are given the chance to improve their lives through monthly cash grants amounting to as much as P1,400 ($32)* for health, nutrition, and educational needs.

However, the country’s social protection program has been the subject of criticism that questioned its effectiveness and increasing annual budget. (READ: Lawmakers question DSWD’s conditional cash transfer program)

Metro Manila’s undernourished

Together with the decline of child deaths is the consistent low prevalence of undernourishment among children under 5 years old.

According to the Oplan Timbang (OTP) Plus results of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the National Capital Region (NCR) has the lowest number of children suffering from undernutrition. (READ: Makati, Taguig lead NCR cities in fight vs malnutrition)

With 13% prevalence, it is almost 7 points lower than the country average of 19%. – Rappler.com

Central Visayas No. 2 in HIV

By Justin K. Vestil

HELP, NOT HATE. An activist called for an end to the discrimination of homosexuals and persons living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) during World Aids Day last Dec. 1, 2012. (AFP FOTO)

FROM being third just a few weeks ago, Central Visayas is now No. 2 on the list of regions with the most number of persons living with HIV or Aids, health officials said on Tuesday.

They urged the public to avail themselves of free voluntary testing being offered by government health facilities, while one official warned that the incidence of HIV and Aids in the region “is becoming very alarming.”

Only Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR) has a higher number of persons living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that leads to the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Aids).

In Central Visayas, Cebu remains on top of the list, with 67 persons confirmed to be living with Aids, and 1,872 others who have tested positive for HIV but have yet to show or feel symptoms.

Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas assistant director, said that so far this year, the number of persons with HIV has risen by 33 percent.

“It’s becoming very alarming,” Legaspi added.

Since 1984, at least 62 people from Central Visayas have died as a result of HIV/Aids.

Bohol Province is second to Cebu, with persons living with HIV/Aids, while 58 others are currently asymptomatic.

Negros Oriental has six persons confirmed to be living with HIV/Aids cases and 42 others who have shown no symptoms, although they have been tested positive.

The island province of Siquijor, the region’s smallest, has the lowest number of persons who have tested positive of HIV: two, both asymptomatic.

Of the persons living with HIV/Aids in Central Visayas, around 1,834 are male.

Health offices in Cebu Province and Cebu City have different situations when it comes to monitoring persons with HIV in their jurisdictions.

Based on a report from the Cebu City Health office, around 75 percent of persons with HIV/Aids got the virus from sexual contact, while 25 percent got it through intravenous drug use. In the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, the region’s largest government hospital, the situation is reversed.

Dr. Chamberlain Agtuca, a physician and a member of the VSMMC HIV/Aids Core Team, said they assisted an average 60 persons per month who come to their facility to have themselves tested for HIV/Aids.

Agtuca said that over the years, the number of people who come to VSMMC for HIV/Aids testing has doubled. Most are young adults.

As DOH-Central Visayas celebrates HIV/Aids Testing Week, government officials and members of support groups urged those who are in doubt to get tested.

Agtuca said that the VSMMC is currently offering free HIV/Aids tests.

Aside from VSMMC, the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), as well as the the Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City Health Offices, will provide free testing.

He said that the increased awareness of the disease and the presence of support groups contributed to the increase in the number of persons confirmed to be living with HIV/Aids.

Legaspi said that the agency has intensified its campaign to promote voluntary testing and provide anti-retroviral medicines for persons positive of HIV/Aids.

She also urged local government units to intensify the DOH’s campaign to get more people to undergo voluntary testing.

Jerson See, Cebu Plus Association Inc. executive director, said there remains a need for more awareness on the disease.

“It’s really alarming. Let us understand that HIV/Aids is not an easy disease. Once you get it, you will have to live with it for the rest of your life,” See said.

He pointed out the need for government and non-government offices to work together in preventing the spread of HIV/Aids.

Consent is required for HIV testing, except in some situations like blood or organ donations or when HIV becomes an issue in Family Code cases.

The Philippine Aids Prevention and Control Act, however, provides for a jail term of six to 12 years if a person who has HIV “knowingly or negligently causes another to get infected.”

Certain body fluids like blood, semen and breast milk can carry HIV. Campaigns to prevent HIV from spreading recommend using protection during sex; avoiding injectible drugs and needle-sharing; and limiting the number of one’s sexual partners. (Sun.Star Cebu)

 

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 06, 2015.

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2015/05/06/region-no-2-hiv-405970

Metro Manila child survival rate improves by 50% – study

By CNN Philippines Staff

(CNN Philippines) — Metro Manila was among the cities in the world to cut child mortality rates among urban poor, according to a global index released by Save the Children on Tuesday (May 5).

The Urban Disadvantage: State of the World’s Mothers 2015 global index report revealed that in the last 20 years, child survival rates among the urban poor in Metro Manila have improved in comparison to other developing countries.

"Manila have made real progress in addressing the health needs of the poorest families," according to the Save the Children report.

Between 1993 and 2008, child mortality rates among the urban poor were cut in half from 81 to 38 deaths per 1,000 live births, said the report.

The Philippines' under-5 mortality rate in 2015 is 29.9 per 1,000 live births.

The National Capital Region has achieved about a 4% reduction in under-5 mortality per year from 1998 to 2013 — over 40 percent total reduction.

"Metro Manila has done a better job than most mega cities at dramatically reducing child survival inequities."

Save the Children attributed Metro Manila’s improvement from the improved quality of services, public-private partnerships, structural reforms, and health care innovations introduced to the local government units and sustained involvement of civil society in maternal and child health care programs.

It also recognized the government's nationwide program "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)".

Philippines: Still the 105th best place for mothers

In this year’s country ranking of the State of the World’s Mothers report, which ranks the well-being of mothers and children, Philippines maintained its place from last year at number 105 out of 179 countries. behind Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia in South East Asia. The country is just ahead of Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

The best countries for mothers are Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden. Meanwhile, the worst countries for mothers are Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Central African Republic, Mali, and Niger.

(CNN Philippines) — Metro Manila was among the cities in the world to cut child mortality rates among urban poor, according to a global index released by Save the Children on Tuesday (May 5).

The Urban Disadvantage: State of the World’s Mothers 2015 global index report revealed that in the last 20 years, child survival rates among the urban poor in Metro Manila have improved in comparison to other developing countries.

"Manila have made real progress in addressing the health needs of the poorest families," according to the Save the Children report.

Between 1993 and 2008, child mortality rates among the urban poor were cut in half from 81 to 38 deaths per 1,000 live births, said the report.

The Philippines' under-5 mortality rate in 2015 is 29.9 per 1,000 live births.

The National Capital Region has achieved about a 4% reduction in under-5 mortality per year from 1998 to 2013 — over 40 percent total reduction.

"Metro Manila has done a better job than most mega cities at dramatically reducing child survival inequities."

Save the Children attributed Metro Manila’s improvement from the improved quality of services, public-private partnerships, structural reforms, and health care innovations introduced to the local government units and sustained involvement of civil society in maternal and child health care programs.

It also recognized the government's nationwide program "Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)".

Philippines: Still the 105th best place for mothers

In this year’s country ranking of the State of the World’s Mothers report, which ranks the well-being of mothers and children, Philippines maintained its place from last year at number 105 out of 179 countries. behind Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia in South East Asia. The country is just ahead of Timor-Leste and Indonesia.

The best countries for mothers are Norway, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden. Meanwhile, the worst countries for mothers are Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Central African Republic, Mali, and Niger.

 

http://cnnphilippines.com/metro/2015/05/06/Manila-child-survival-rate-improves.html#.VUnaZQhnk8w.twitter

Toward an effective ASEAN strategy against hunger

By Jodesz Gavilan

STRATEGIC. It is important to incorporate priorities in strategies against hunger. All photos from Agence France-Presse.

STRATEGIC. It is important to incorporate priorities in strategies against hunger. All photos from Agence France-Presse.

MANILA, Philippines – Asia is facing a big challenge when it comes to hunger and malnutrition.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) acknowledged in a summit in 2012 that food insecurity remains a big problem in the region.

Despite data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) showing a decrease in food inadequacy, more than two-thirds of the world’s hungry still reside in the region.

What contributed to this, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) found out, is the increase of food prices between 2007 and 2008. The ADB's 2012 study is the most updated report on the topic of key strategies in addressing hunger in the region.

It is estimated that 100 people fell into the hunger trap due to this, and 64 million people more are at risk if there were an additional 10% increase in prices.

ASEAN, however, has been constantly stepping up its plans to combat hunger and malnutrition – among all problems related to food insecurity – throughout the years.

In 2011, the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework was established to “provide scope and pragmatic approaches” toward food security in Asia. Before this, a road map was constructed in relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). (READ: How ASEAN is trying to end hunger)

Priorities in strategies

Despite the “multidimensionality and multi-partnership” of these initiatives, they still fall short.

The economic growth seen in Asia in the past years helped lessen the prevalence of hunger. The impact, however, was “generally low.”

The performance, ADB noted, proves that hunger is “much more difficult to eradicate” as it needed a more practical approach than only using “those concerned with economic growth.”

In trying to end hunger in the region, the strategies – whether policy actions or interventions – should focus on identified critical areas.

According to the ADB, an effective strategy against hunger should have the following priorities:

1. Improve attention at the national level when it comes to hunger elimination

Although countries have vowed to join the fight against hunger globally and at the national level, there are still inadequate efforts done in reality.

The will to end the problem should be reflected in the appropriation of the budget and other resources and most importantly, in policies.

2. Zero in on hunger hotspots and target most-vulnerable

As resources in efforts are scarce, it is better to identify and focus on “hunger hotspots.” These are places where the hunger problem has become chronic.

Aside from identifying these areas, their needs should also be assessed so that assistance – whether international or regional – can be given to end the problem of hunger.

3. Decrease food prices and improve food availability for the poor

ADB identifies the increasing food prices as one of the reasons why people go hungry in Asia. This affects the underprivileged the most who are already suffering from hunger.

Countries then should make an effort to reduce prices of food commodities to level the playing field when it comes to the hunger problem. If this cannot be done, actions should be included to improve the food accessibility of the poor. (READ: How can the government lower food prices in the Philippines?)

4. Improve access to clean water and ensure availability of micronutrients in diets

The effects of hidden hunger are seen in the long run, affecting the performance of the next generation. In order to prevent this, children should be given the right amount of micronutrients in their diets. (READ: Nutrition facts: Hidden hunger)

Meanwhile, access to clean water has been a problem especially in developing nations. This should be addressed to prevent water-borne diseases – one of the main causes of deaths in Asia. (READ: A thirsty world and the PH water problem)

5. Effectively engage public and private stakeholders such as communities, civil society, and the private sector in coordinated and effective multidisciplinary actions

Hunger cannot be fought by the government alone, nor by advocacy groups. The fight against hunger needs to include all sectors as they have the specific skills to address a component of the problem.

However, these stakeholders should effectively coordinate to attain the goal of zero hunger. Each side should then be able to be open – regardless of differences – in working together.

After 2015

The deadline of the MDGs has passed and unfortunately, not all countries in Asia were able to effectively achieve their targets.

Now the focus has shifted to ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are achieved within the 15-year duration before 2030.

Developed in 2012 by the United Nations, these goals are geared toward universal application by taking into consideration the different situations of each country. (READ: What’s next for hunger and poverty after 2015?)

On the top of these goals are ending poverty and hunger “in all forms” by challenging the leaders to coincide their policy-making responsibilities with the problems.

Together with the strategic priorities listed by the ADB and the sustainable goals, ASEAN hopes to finally end hunger. – Rappler.com

 

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/hunger/92091-strategy-against-hunger-asean?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=referral

PH accountable for Manila's reproductive rights violations – UN

By Fritzie Rodriguez

UN says Manila's Executive Orders 003 and 030 violate women's right to access reproductive health information and services

WOMEN'S RIGHTS. The UN CEDAW calls on the Philippines to revoke Manila's Executive Orders demeaning of women's reproductive health

WOMEN'S RIGHTS. The UN CEDAW calls on the Philippines to revoke Manila's Executive Orders demeaning of women's reproductive health

MANILA, Philippines – Manila's local policies harm women’s reproductive health (RH) rights, said the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

In April 2015, CEDAW reported how Manila’s Executive Orders 003 and 030 deprive women of their right to fully access RH information and services.

The Philippine government, however, is accountable for Manila's actions, CEDAW stressed:

"Decentralization of power through devolution does not in any way negate or reduce the direct responsibility of the State party to fulfil its obligation to respect and ensure the rights of all women within its jurisdiction." – UN CEDAW

It added that it is "discriminatory" for a country to refuse to legally provide women's RH services.

A tale of two policies

Although EO 003 does not explicitly prohibit citizens from using modern contraceptives, in practice it bans them across Manila's public health centers, CEDAW reported.

Health facilities funded by the local government unit (LGU) also do not provide information on contraception other than natural family planning (NFP), causing misinformation on modern contraceptives.

Even medical personnel were only trained on NFP methods.

“The City promotes responsible parenthood and upholds natural family planning not just as a method but as a way of self-awareness in promoting the culture of life while discouraging the use of artificial methods of contraception like condoms, pills, intrauterine devices, surgical sterilization, and other.” – EO 003

EO 003 was introduced in 2000 by then Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, former president of Pro-Life Philippines, an organization advocating the exclusive use of NFP. Atienza’s policy was “reinforced” by the national government, CEDAW found, as seen in the National Family Planning Strategic Plan 2002-2006, which stated that “NFP is the only method acceptable to the Catholic Church.”

“Religious ideology and gender stereotypes should play no role in whether a woman can get the reproductive health care and information she needs,” argued Nancy Northup of the Center for Reproductive Rights, an international RH rights organization.

In 2007, health facilities still enforced EO 003 during then Mayor Alfredo Lim’s term. But in 2011, Lim adopted EO 030, a new "pro-choice" policy recognizing one's freedom to choose whatever contraceptive method.

EO 030, however, prohibits Manila from using LGU funds in purchasing artificial contraceptives. On the upside, it allows the donation of contraceptives from non-governmental (NGOs) and the Department of Health (DOH).

But CEDAW argued that EO 030 “did not address the flaws and weaknesses of the health system as a whole, which had resulted from the implementation of EO 003.”

The new policy failed to provide the “means to make these choices available and affordable.” The LGU only transferred its responsibility – to provide RH services – to “NGOs, donors, and third parties.”

Impacts on women

Who suffered the most from Manila's policies? Women, especially the poor.

The EOs resulted to “detrimental consequences for economically disadvantaged women and drove them further into poverty by depriving them of an opportunity to control and space their number of children,” CEDAW said.

The policies not only impact women’s RH, but also other aspects of their lives:

  • Economic: Inaccessible contraceptives, inability to work because of having too many children
  • Social: The lack of economic power may put them under the abusive partner's control, stigma against artificial contraceptives
  • Physical and mental health risks: Resulting from early or unwanted pregnancies, increased exposure to HIV/AIDS/STDs

Although NFP is a valid method, it does not always work for everyone. It requires knowledge and consistency, which not all couples have. Hence the need for artificial contraceptives as another option. (READ: Is learning safe sex unsafe?)

Much laws, no teeth

The Philippines has several national laws protecting women, but advocates say implementation lacks teeth. Ironically, EOs 003 and 030 maintain their bite against Manila’s poorest.

In 2009, the country enacted the Magna Carta of Women, protecting women from all forms of discrimination. In effect, any policy contradicting the Magna Carta shall be repealed or modified.

Can this solve Manila's problem? Unfortunately, the Magna Carta's implementation is lacking, said CEDAW.

In 2008, DOH issued guidelines on improving maternal and child health among LGUs, including the provision of modern family planning services and the promotion of "informed choice.”

The DOH also provided “performance-based grants” to support LGUs in implementing the guidelines. But Manila “consistently underperformed" in RH-related areas, CEDAW found.

Although the national government assisted Manila, CEDAW deemed such efforts “insufficient.”

“No mechanism or system was established by the central government to monitor the compliance of LGU policies with national policies and to monitor their implementation at LGU level.” – UN CEDAW

CEDAW added that nobody examined whether Manila’s EOs complied with DOH’s guidelines.

While the Local Government Code allows LGUs experiencing financial constraints to ask national agencies for assistance, CEDAW reported that Manila “did not take sufficient measures to comply with this provision.”

The national government’s “unsatisfactory response” to Manila’s situation resulted from the “lack of proactive action” among concerned agencies.

Efforts

2012 was quite progressive.

In June, Manila requested the DOH to “reprogram remaining available funds to modern family planning.” Some health centers then provided contraceptives and information materials as of September and October 2012, CEDAW reported.

CEDAW, however, said it was not informed on how Manila could sustain this.

In the same month, DOH introduced a national strategy for reducing “unmet needs for modern family planning.”

In December, the RH bill was signed into law, but not without delays. Its constitutionality was only upheld in 2014, while full implementation has yet to be felt.

Health services have been devolved to LGUs since 1991, but not all deliver. CEDAW sees the RH law as an “essential tool to address the visible shortcomings of the current decentralization system,” as well as Manila’s flaws.

Next steps

In light of Manila's violations on women's rights, CEDAW advises the Philippines to:

  • Fully enforce the Magna Carta of Women and the RH law
  • Guarantee women's access to RH services and information, regardless of marital status and age
  • Strengthen policy implementations in local and national levels
  • Modify and repeal discriminating laws
  • Comply with international standards
  • Mandate the Commission on Human Rights to address violations on women's RH rights
  • Ensure the separation of Church and State, protect women's health rights
  • Allot national, local budgets to supply RH services among all public health facilities
  • Officially revoke EOs 003 and 030

In 2008, 20 citizens actually filed a case against Manila City, urging EO 003's unconstitutionality. But the petition was dismissed in 2014, saying the case has been "mooted" by the passage of the RH law:

Excerpt from the Regional Trial Court decision on 'Osil' case. Rappler obtained a copy from the Center for Reproductive Rights

Excerpt from the Regional Trial Court decision on 'Osil' case. Rappler obtained a copy from the Center for Reproductive Rights

In simpler terms, the court found the petition irrelevant since the RH law already resolves the problem.

“But it’s best that the city government repeals it [EOs] so there will be no questions whether they’re still existing or not,” said lawyer Claire Padilla of EnGender Rights, one of the NGOs that nudged and worked with CEDAW on investigating Manila.

“Because we received reports that in November 2012, some clinics still implemented the EOs," Padilla added.

On Tuesday, May 5, Rappler called the office of incumbent Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada for comment, but his staff said he is currently abroad and would discuss the matter upon his return.

Meanwhile, Fe Nicodemus of the NGO Kakammpi observed some progress in Manila. "Meron na kahit paano 'yung ibang health centers, meron nang [RH] commodities," she said, "'Di katulad dati, zero talaga." (At least some health centers have some commodities. Unlike before, it was really zero.)

However, compared to women's NGOs like Likhaan, Manila's offerings still pale in comparison, Nicodemus said.

"With the release of the [CEDAW] findings," Padilla stressed, "We hope that the Philippine government will comply with its international treaty obligations to ensure that the women and girls in Manila City and throughout the Philippines are not discriminated against in accessing sexual and RH services.”

Until then, several women in and out Manila might continue handling their reproductive health as if playing with fire, with no one and nothing helping them aid or prevent possible burns. – Rappler.com

 

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/gender-issues/91595-manila-cedaw-rh-violation?utm_content=bufferca8d6&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

SWS: 36% of Filipinos identify themselves as 'food-poor'

By Mara Cepeda

FOOD-POOR. Children wait for their turn to get food from a neighborhood feeding program. File photo by Rappler

FOOD-POOR. Children wait for their turn to get food from a neighborhood feeding program. File photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Around 7.9 million Filipino families consider themselves poor in terms of food, the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed.

This figure represents 36% of the respondents in a self-rated poverty survey conducted in the first quarter of 2015. The number is a 5-percentage point decrease from last December’s 41%, which equates to about 9.1 million families.

The SWS attributed this drop to decreases in "balance Luzon," Metro Manila, and the Visayas.

The self-rated food poverty prevalence in "balance Luzon" went down to a record-low of 28% in March 2015, nine points less than that of December 2014. The figure for Metro Manila also decreased, from 24% to 20%.

Similarly, only 45% of families in Visayas view themselves to be food-poor, showing a 6-point drop from last year.

However, the number of self-rated food-poor families in Mindanao has remained at 52% since September 2014.

The SWS survey was conducted from March 20 to 23, 2015 among 1,200 adult heads of households nationwide.

More budget for food

The SWS survey also showed a median food poverty threshold in all 4 areas: P9,000 in Metro Manila, P6,000 in “balance Luzon,” P4,750 in the Visayas, and P5,000 in Mindanao.

The food poverty threshold corresponds to the lowest monthly food budget needed by the lower half of food-poor families to not be considered as such.

The SWS noted that the figures from last March were at record-high levels except for the Visayas.

In a text message sent to BusinessWorld, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said that “[t]he decline in self-rated poverty, accompanied by a larger drop in number of food-poor... provides proof positive that... poverty reduction programs of the government are bearing fruit.”

The survey results were first published in BusinessWorld.

Still not enough

The said budgets may not be enough for a day’s worth of nutritious meals for a Filipino family, which usually consists of 5 members.

According to the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey by the Philippine Statistical Authority, each Filipino household allots 42.8% of its monthly income for food expenses. (READ: Is the minimum wage enough for a day's worth of nutritious meals?)

A family in Metro Manila will then have a monthly food budget of P3,852 ($86)* or P128.40 ($2.88) for a day’s worth of meals. For a family in the Visayas, that will be P2,033 ($45) for food per month or P67.77 ($1.50) per day.

Currently, 19.9% of children 5 years and below are underweight, while one in every 10 adults lacks the daily energy requirements to function well. (READ: What's the nutritiounal status of Filipinos?)

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, the Aquino’s administration’s flagship anti-poverty project, allotted P62.3 billion to address the needs of families living below the poverty line. – Rappler.com

 

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/hunger/92207-sws-food-poverty-survey-first-quarter-2015?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=referral

SWS: 51% of Filipinos think they're poor

By Jodesz Gavilan

The SWS survey results show that there are less Metro Manila residents who consider themselves poor – 31% in the first quarter of 2015 from 43% in December 2014

POOR. Filipino residents living in shanties along a river bank collect useful items in the trash in Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 December 2014. File photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPA

POOR. Filipino residents living in shanties along a river bank collect useful items in the trash in Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines, 27 December 2014. File photo by Francis R. Malasig/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – Fifty-one percent of Filipinos consider themselves poor in the first quarter of 2015, statiscally the same as the previous quarter, the results of the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.

According to the results of the First Quarter 2015 Social Weather Survey (SWS) first published in BusinessWorld, 51% of respondents rated themselves as poor – only a point lower than the December 2014 rate of 52% or 11.4 million families.

The result was just 3 points below the 2014 average of 54%, considered as the lowest annual rating obtained during the Aquino administration. (READ: Over half of Filipinos consider themselves poor – SWS)

'Big improvement' in Metro Manila

SWS noted a "big improvement" among Metro Manila respondents, as self-rated poverty in the Philippine capital region went down to 31% in the first quarter of 2015, from 43% in December 2014.

The 12-point decrease is the lowest prevalence in the area since 2004. In Balance Luzon, the number of self-rated poor families was at 44%, down from 45%.

In contrast, the number of self-rated poor families in the Visayas rose to 70% from 65%, and to 62% from 60% in Mindanao.

SWS found out that the median self-rated poverty threshold in the regions decreased generally.

Self-rated poverty threshold refers to the lowest monthly budget needed by households to not be considered as poor.

Poverty threshold down in NCR, up in Luzon

In Metro Manila, the first quarter poverty threshold went down to P15,000 ($336) from P20,000 ($448) in December. The threshold in Luzon areas outside the capital meanwhile shot up to P15,000 from P8,000 ($179).

In the Visayas, respondents said the monthly budget needed to not be considered poor is P10,000 ($224) from P12,000 ($268) in the last quarter of 2014. In Mindanao, it is P10,000 – the same as in the previous quarter.

The survey was conducted from March 20 to 23 using personal interviews with 1,200 Filipino adult heads of households around the Philippines. Sampling error margins are at ±3 points for national percentages, and ±6 points each for Metro Manila, Balance Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao.

SWS said it "employs its own staff for questionnaire design, sampling, fieldwork, data-processing, and analysis, and does not outsource any of its survey operations." – Rappler.com

http://www.rappler.com/nation/92179-social-weather-stations-first-quarter-poverty-survey-2015?utm_content=bufferc598d&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

DBM releases P1.2 billion for indigent senior citizens’ pension

By Ben O. de Vera

seniors

THE government has released P1.2 billion to be spent on the needs of indigent senior citizens, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said on Tuesday.

The fund released to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will cover elderly indigents’ social pension.

The DBM said that under Section 5 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, indigent senior citizens could receive a monthly stipend worth P500 from the government.

RA 9994 defines indigent senior citizens as “any elderly who is frail, sickly or with disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance from his/her relatives to support his/her basic needs, as determined by the DSWD in consultation with the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board.”

The P1.2-billion fund charged against this year’s national budget is seen to benefit 200,000 senior citizens.

The DSWD has been allocated P5.96 billion for the implementation of the social pension for indigent senior citizens program this year. This pension fund will support a total of 939,609 indigent senior citizens in 2015, according to the DBM.

“We crafted the 2015 budget to prioritize the poor and the vulnerable, including indigent senior citizens. This release will allow us to address the basic needs of our elderly indigents, who do not otherwise have the resources to support themselves,” Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said.

“As our economy expands, Filipinos young and old should benefit directly from our reforms. This is exactly what inclusive growth is all about,” Abad added. SFM

Family planning org elects new officers

THE Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)-Iloilo chapter has elected a new set of officers last April 30 to implement voluntary services with the nongovernment organization devoted to health education and reproductive health services.

Chapter program manager Mona Diones said the organization made its presence in Iloilo since 1969 as a voluntary service nongovernment entity that augments the government’s efforts on good health, well being and family planning.

Councilor Leicel Zulueta-Salazar was unanimously elected president of the group, which that will lay down the policies and directions of FPOP in the next three years.

To assist Zulueta-Salazar are elected vice president, Councilor Armand a, Iloilo chief of the city population office Ann Ramos as secretary, and journalist Lydia Pendon as treasurer.

Elected as members of the Board of Directors are barangay worker Remy Lopez, Red Ladies member Margarita Hilario, Ma. Gi Defensor of the Integrated Midwives Association of the Phil (IMAP), Jerry Leg of the Department of Education, former village chief Mila Galicano, LG Psyche of the Department of Health, Luz Francisco of 4Ps, and First Lieutenant Joemer Zulueta of the AFP-PA.

Earlier, the organization’s youth component also elected its officers during the local youth leadership assembly (LYLA).

The youth leaders are mostly selected peer counselors and peer educators who will lead and help mobilize the young people in information and education dissemination on reproductive health and well being. (LCP)

 

http://www.sunstar.com.ph/iloilo/local-news/2015/05/01/family-planning-org-elects-new-officers-405236

Bangsamoro women and the BBL

By Rina Jimenez-David

AMONG THE fears being raised about the passage into law of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law is that it would enshrine certain provisions in the Sharia Law, particularly those condemning women to a subordinate role in society.

But in a statement of support for the BBL’s passage, the women’s group Pilipina (disclosure: I am national chair of the organization) says it believes “women and children of Mindanao have a greater chance to live in peace, freedom and security with the passage of proposed BBL.”

The BBL could help them achieve these goals first because it adopts the principle of gender equality, and like the Constitution recognizes the “fundamental equality before the law of women and men.”

In addition, the BBL recognizes the “basic right of women to meaningful political participation and protection from all forms of violence.”

Thus, it is foreseen that the proposed BBL will give Bangsamoro women “a voice in governance and decision-making, so that they can infuse policies and programs with recognition of and respect for gender equality and women’s rights.”

As stated in the draft BBL, women’s representation in high-level policy and decision-making is guaranteed, particularly through a reserved seat for women in the Bangsamoro Parliament and the appointment of at least one woman in the Cabinet, with women representatives likewise required in the Bangsamoro Council of Leaders,

advising the chief minister and the Bangsamoro Transition Authority. The Pilipina statement points out, though, that “these minimal numbers cannot, at the outset, ensure that women’s voices will be heard or their votes counted in governance.” But still, even this minimum “can provide an opening for women to gain a firm foothold in the Bangsamoro political arena.”

* * *

THROUGH the BBL, it was pointed out, a “governance framework” is being set for Bangsamoro women and girls to enjoy opportunities and the benefits of economic and social development. Much of these hinges on the use of the Gender and Development (GAD) budget, already in place all over the country and in all government entities.

“For more than three decades now,” the Pilipina statement says, the organization “has devoted its advocacy and work towards Filipino women’s empowerment, especially for women who have been deprived of their rights and systematically excluded or discriminated because they are poor and marginalized due to their cultures and beliefs. Pilipina has advocated gender-responsive policies and legislation—including the Magna Carta of Women (MCW)—the fire on top, and built women’s leadership in governance, the fire from below, in forging the women’s empowerment agenda.”

The women in the proposed Bangsamoro areas have been a particular concern, mainly because “they have suffered intensely in their loss of loved ones, homes and treasured possessions, and dashed hopes for their children’s wellbeing and future. These same women hold up more than half of their communities’ social safety net, weighed down by centuries of discrimination and neglect. These women now muster strength to heave their safety net, buoyed up by their dreams, onto the ark of Bangsamoro self-reliance.”

* * *

IN THE same statement, Pilipina cited Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles (founding chair of Pilipina) and GPH (Government of the Philippines) Peace Panel Chair Miriam

Coronel-Ferrer, who, it said, “have invested their time and talents with grit and gusto—at the GPH-MILF peace table and with communities on the ground—to craft a peace agreement and animate a more crucial peace process.”

Now is the time “to bring the Bangsamoro women to the ‘front and center’ of governance. After more than four decades of tenacious struggle, it is time for the Bangsamoro to move onto an empowering political platform, whence the women and men can equally create their path to sustainable development in an environment of peace, freedom and security.”

Indeed, while women and groups like Pilipina throw their support behind the BBL, we are all aware that the main bearers of the cause are Bangsamoro women themselves, for it is their lives, their future and their children’s future that are at stake. If Bangsamoro women stand steadfast behind the BBL, who are we to stand in their way?

* * *

ANOTHER piece of good news for women are the recent findings of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw) that a “ban” on the use of family planning methods other than natural family planning was a “grave and systematic violation of women’s rights.”

The findings refer to an executive order (denied officially but enforced through formal and informal sanctions) by the Manila city administration then under Mayor Lito Atienza in 2000, which declared Manila a “prolife city” and discouraged the use of modern contraceptives. The inquiry measured the adverse impact on the health and lives of women affected by the order.

“This is historic. This is only the second inquiry conducted (under the Optional Protocol of Cedaw) and the first on sexual and reproductive health and rights,” said lawyer Clara Rita Padilla of EnGender Rights, which together with WomenLead convened local and international groups in submitting the inquiry to Cedaw. “With the release of the findings, we hope that the Philippine government will comply with its international treaty obligations to ensure that the women and girls in Manila and throughout the Philippines are not discriminated against in accessing sexual and reproductive health services,” Padilla added.

Over 1M Pantawid Pamilya kids to graduate from elem, high school

From the Department of Social Welfare and Development

Sec. Soliman announces during this morning’s briefing that more than 300,000 children of Pantawid Pamilya will graduate from high school this March.

Sec. Soliman announces during this morning’s briefing that more than 300,000 children of Pantawid Pamilya will graduate from high school this March.

A total of 863,046 elementary students and 333,673 high school students who are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program nationwide will graduate this March.

Of this number, there are 353,621 elementary graduates in Luzon; 175,005 in the Visayas; and 334,420 in Mindanao.

On the other hand, there are 153,470 high school graduates in Luzon; 74,182 in the Visayas; and 106,021 in Mindanao.

To celebrate this milestone, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will gather the high school graduates from the National Capital Region (NCR) in an event where they will be given access to possible sources of vocational and college scholarships so that they can continue their studies. For the event, DSWD will partner with institutions such as the Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

This will be held at the Ynares Gymnasium, Antipolo, Rizal on April 10.

It will be a festive event where selected graduates will share their experiences of being beneficiaries of the program.

In 2013, the DSWD expanded the coverage of Pantawid Pamilya to include the 15-18 age bracket in view of the K-12 curriculum implemented by the Department of Education. Under this expanded coverage, high school students receive P500 monthly educational allowance.

DSWD continues to help and encourage children to keep on studying so they may have better opportunities for employment.

dswd.gov.ph

This entry was posted under Briefing Room, Department of Social Welfare and Development and tagged Department of Social Welfare and Development, education, graduation, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, press releases. Bookmark the permalink.

http://www.gov.ph/2015/03/20/over-1m-pantawid-pamilya-kids-to-graduate-from-elem-high-school/

God, sex, babies: Is learning safe sex unsafe?

By Fritzie Rodriguez

Some Filipinos learn about safe sex only after having several unsafe encounters

SEXUALITY EDUCATION. Which is better? For the Filipino youth to understand safe sex, or for them to remain clueless? Graphic by Mara Elize Mercado/Rappler, Background image from Shutterstock

SEXUALITY EDUCATION. Which is better? For the Filipino youth to understand safe sex, or for them to remain clueless? Graphic by Mara Elize Mercado/Rappler, Background image from Shutterstock

MANILA, Philippines – She heard metal clanking, but anesthesia dulled the clang.

She laid in bed, with someone tinkering below. Today she was supposed to enroll for her junior year at high school, but she was having an abortion.

It lasted an hour and felt nothing. Mary* was accompanied by her mother to an abortion clinic disguising itself as an employment agency, less than an hour from Manila.

It was the new millennium, Mary was 15, and the procedure cost P15,000.

“When mom found out [I'm pregnant], she asked me what I wanted to do,” Mary said. “I didn’t want [a baby]. I was young, I didn’t want to stop school.”

“My mom was holding my hand throughout the process,” Mary recalled. Everything was in secret since the Philippines outlaws abortion.

Three years later, Mary was once again pregnant.

Not all adolescents have what Mary had. She is thankful for having resources and an open-minded family, however. Mary hoped that after her first pregnancy, someone had sat her down and lectured her on safe sex.

“They knew I was sexually active, but there was still no talk, no advice.”

Ignorance is bliss?

What Mary didn’t learn at home, she didn’t learn in school either.

Already in college during her second pregnancy, Mary still did not understand sex.

“I was clueless about birth control,” she admitted. “There’s stigma, it’s hard to ask questions when you’re young. Tataasan ka ng kilay ‘pag bibili ka pills nang naka-college uniform.” (They’ll raise eyebrows when you buy pills while wearing your college uniform.)

Mary decided to go through with her second pregnancy, and today she is successfully raising her child.

She does not regret her abortion, saying that if she continued her first pregnancy, she probably would not have finished college.

“How would a 15-year-old raise a kid? You may say I’m selfish, but that decision saved me from committing more bad decisions in my life,” said Mary. “Whatever you say, I wouldn't feel bad about a decision I’m so sure of, that I was brave enough to do.”

“Despite advances in RH law, many Filipino women experience unintended pregnancies,” the Guttmacher Institute, an international non-profit organization, reported in 2013. “And because abortion is highly stigmatized in the country, many who seek abortion undergo unsafe procedures” done by unqualified people.

Mary did not experience post-abortion problems, but others do. In 2008, around 1,000 maternal deaths in the Philippines were attributed to abortion complications, Guttmacher reported.

Mary hopes the Philippines could start talking about abortion openly, a plea shared by women’s rights advocates. “But it all comes back to how the Philippines handles reproductive health (RH)," she stressed, adding, "People should first be educated about RH.”

Knowing more, not less, is a safer bet.

The United Nations defines RH as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being in all matters relating to the reproductive system,” including the ability to have a "satisifying and safe sex life, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.”

However, such freedom is often challenged, mostly by ignorance. To protect one’s RH, the UN emphasizes the need for:

  • Access to accurate information and services
  • Safe, effective, affordable, and acceptable contraception method of choice

Sadly, not all schools provide sexuality education. And not everyone is aware of their "choices."

In fact, more than half of college-educated Filipino youths had unprotected sex during their first time, the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality showed, with the percentage increasing with lower educational attainment. And regardless of education level, not more than 36% of young Filipinos answered these basic questions correctly:

  • Can a woman get pregnant if her partner did not ejaculate?
  • Can a woman get pregnant anytime during her menstrual cycle?

The lack of access to information and services are the most common problems among pregnant teenagers, observed Dr Gumersinda Javier of the Philippine Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine, "Some don't even understand ovulation."

Javier stressed how Filipinos in far-flung areas have the least access to such needs.

"Why we don't reach our Millennium Development Goals? Because a lot of our people don't have access to health. We have in Metro Manila and some major cities, but not far south," she added.

Advocates are also pushing for RH and sexuality education to be mandatory.

"[RH law] Having that clause saying it's going to be just optional for private schools, that's not enough," said Marevic Parcon of the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights.

Contraceptives, church, cancer

More than half of Filipino women use contraception, either traditional or modern, the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) revealed.

This means the other half do not.

Use of contraception among Filipino women
aged 15 to 49
(Source: NDHS 2013)
  Any traditional method
(i.e., withdrawal, rhythm)

Any modern method

(i.e., sterilization, pills, condom, IUD, injectables)

Total
(any method)
Sexually active unmarried women 22.1% 31.1% 53.2%
Married women 17.5% 37.6% 55.1%

Contraception is least among 15-19-year-olds at only 4.4%. And among unmarried sexually active women, "withdrawal" was most common.

While individuals could choose whatever method they prefer, the World Health Organization noted that withdrawal is "one of the least effective methods," while the rhythm method strictly requires knowledge, consistency, and partner cooperation – things not all couples have.

But others have fewer choices.

“The Church is against [artificial] contraceptives,” said Fr Dave Clay of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). “When the husband uses condoms, he’s putting his wife in danger because condoms are dangerous. They cause cervical cancer.”

Clay is assistant executive secretary of the CBCP Commission on Family and Life. He added that pills “cause cancer and homosexuality,” citing news about “feminized” fish resulting from waterways contaminated with urine from women on pills. This, however, was disproved by the University of California-San Francisco alongside other health advocates.

Likewise, cancer claims were proven false.

The CBCP agrees that schools should provide sexuality education, but says it should not go into too much details. "Don't have to teach intercourse or [artificial] contraceptives, but we can teach natural family planning," Clay explained.

The CBCP's sentiments, however, were countered by Parcon, stressing that "the youth have the right to understand and care for their bodies."

Instead of just telling students "not to have sex because sex is bad," Parcon advised schools to explain what safe sex is. Sexuality education should focus on providing two things: the right information and rights-based information.

"There's nothing wrong if you want to wait. That’s [abstinence] your choice, but that choice should be informed," Parcon said.

But the priest is firm in his beliefs: “Learn chastity. Don’t masturbate. Don’t have sex with people not your husband or wife.”

Some young Filipinos will learn about safe sex, others will not. Some will turn to the Internet for information, some to friends, and some to men in robes echoing the word of god.

Just like Mary, some learn about safe sex only after having several unsafe encounters. – Rappler.com

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*Mary is not her real name. She requested an alias to protect her and her child's privacy

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/gender-issues/91452-rh-sexuality-education-contraceptives?utm_content=buffera1214&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Based on the 2015 Census of Population with a Total Population of 100,979,303 and 2010-2015 Population Growth Rate of 1.72 and calculation using Geometric Equation

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