POPCOM calls for more community pantries to carry Family Planning commodities
The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) in April instructed its regional offices to coordinate with community pantry organizers to include family planning (FP) commodities, as one of the essential items that the public can avail of for free. By the month of May, POPCOM Region-V was able to incorporate FP methods in three (3) community pantries in coordination with local government units (LGUs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and regional government agencies.
The initial community pantries that carried FP methods were held at the Brgy. Hall of Barangay 58 Buragwis in Legazpi City on May 4, followed by the Alpha Kappa Rho (AKRHO) International Fraternity and Sorrority – Iriga Chapter held in Iriga City, Camarines Sur on May 10 and the Mobile Community Pantry organized by the Tsokolate at Pandesal (TAP) members together with the 9th Civil Military Operations (KAAGAPAY) Battalion, 9th Infantry Division, Philippine Army held at Brgy. 27 Victory Village South, Legazpi City. Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) -Sorsogon Chapter also gave free FP information, services and supplies during the launching of their National Safety Pantry held in Sorsogon on May 28, 2021.
Through these community pantries, about 300 couples and individuals have received pills, condoms and info materials on Family Planning. The methods were also dispensed with the guidance of local health personnel like barangay health workers (BHWs), family planning and barangay population volunteers (BPVs) or population officers.
Director Joyce Dela Paz – Hilvano commends the program partners and stakeholders that heed the agency’s call to provide FP commodities in their bayanihan endeavors. She said that the result of their efforts is long-term as it will help couples and individuals in preventing unplanned and mistimed pregnancies. She appeals to those who have existing community pantries and those who are planning to organize one to allocate space for FP commodities. Community pantry initiators may send their request to POPCOM Region-V for provision of FP commodities at email: firstname.lastname@example.org or may visit the office at PBN Road, Buragwis, Legazpi City.