Responsible parenting makes headway in Davao Norte
By Noel Baguio
Tagum City, Davao del Norte (19 February) -- The responsible parenting movement, which espouses the government's natural family planning program is gaining ground as better alternative in managing the population of the province.
Governor Rodolfo Del Rosario expressed his support to the natural family planning program of the government, saying the method is appropriate for the Filipinos being mostly Catholics.
"Filipinos are pro-life and being a Catholic country I believe natural family planning is the most appropriate method for us," he said.
Del Rosario added natural program is in line with the current government population policy that is anchored on responsible parenthood, respect for life, birth spacing, and informed choice.
Consistent with these principles and in the context of local autonomy, Governor Del Rosario stressed the provincial government is steadfast in pursuing its primary responsibility of providing couples and individuals with information and services to enable them to exercise Responsible Parenthood.
In an interview with Population Commission XI Regional Director Maduh Damsani, he expressed optimism that the natural family planning method will work if the men are really involved and that the system requires open communication between the couples.
"Apparently, natural family planning is a gender issue and we really need to involve the men, particularly the husbands in order to make it work," he noted, citing the intricacy of our patriarchal society where the men always decide.
Dir. Damsani further clarified that the government is not abandoning its stance on artificial contraception. He explained that since the natural family planning program received little attention in the past, the method is now being intensified to increase its leverage consistent with the shift in the government's population policy.
"But, while we now promote the natural birth control method, we still continue the government's advocacy for artificial contraception," he cleared up.
Damsani also revealed that Church leaders in the region were at first adamant to the natural program because of the government's preoccupation towards artificial method before.
However, Provincial Population Coordinator Camilo De Gusman revealed some church leaders have already given them the go signal, while others even offered to work as partners in pursuing the natural program.
The provincial population office has since conducted extensive orientation to the city and municipal councilors chairing the committee on health, the city and municipal health officers, barangay officials and health workers, public nurses and midwives.
The initial pilot areas of the responsible parenting movement include three barangays each for Tagum City and the municipalities of Asuncion and Carmen. (PGO-ID-PIA XI) [top]