Natural family planning 'students' rise to 4,000 in Samar
By Ninfa B Quirante
Catbalogan City (5 November) -- The number of natural family planning 'students' has swelled to more than four thousand in Samar province.
This was the data given by Samar Population Program Officer Emil Rama during one of the NFP classes in Barangay Boao, Catbalogan City where barangay Chairman Pedro Paburan, Jr provided the meals and snacks.
Rama said that the team of natural family planning mentors have been to municipalities where the LGUs are supportive of the program.
These include the towns of Basey, Sta Margarita, San Jose de Buan, Hinabangan, Pinabacdao, Marabut, Catbalogan and the island town Daram.
Next week, the team will move on to Jiabong and Pagsanhan.
The training team invites a group of 25-30 married couples of reproductive age where these 'students' learn not only natural family planning but also responsible parenting.
The one-day session teaches married couples to be responsible parents, where the facilitators highlight the different growth and development stages of the child, the importance of having a strong marriage and a good family relationship including practical tips on managing the home.
It also trains married couple to be knowledgeable of their fertility and achieve or space the number of children they desire through natural family planning.
The teaching module is divided into units where unit one deals with responsible parenting, unti two with family relationships and unit three Home Management. Another major unit is the fertility awareness and natural family planning methods.
Annaliza Bantilan, 21 with husband Virgilio had to bring along their lactating 2-month old baby to the cramped barangay hall to partake of the lectures.
Analiza said she learned about parenting and her obligations to her husband in the one day class.
Coney, 25 said she learned to list down the priority needs of her small family, this is also taught in the 'classes'.
A father of four who did not wish to be named said he and wife would stop at their 4th child and use the 'beads' method or what the training team termed as Standard Days Method (SDM) where couples pay attention to the menstrual cycle of the wife. A certain color on the string of beads signal the start of the menstruation so the couple could chart the fertile days and avoid having sex to space the number of children.
Other methods offered are Basal Body Temperature, Cervical mucus methods/ovulation methods, Modified Cervical Mucus Method and the Sympto-Thermal Method, and the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) and the SDM, earlier mentioned.
Although the team prescribes natural family planning, they still earned the ire of the Catholic Church in Samar whom observers say are threatened by the word family planning. (PIA-Samar) [top]