Simple Random Quotes
4 April 2017
UNITED NATIONS, New York. —UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, regrets the decision by the United States to deny any future funding for its life-saving work the world over. This decision is based on the erroneous claim that UNFPA “supports, or participates in the management of, a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization” in China. UNFPA refutes this claim, as all of its work promotes the human rights of individuals and couples to make their own decisions, free of coercion or discrimination. Indeed, United Nations Member States have long described UNFPA’s work in China as a force for good.
The United States, one of our founding members, has long partnered with UNFPA to protect and promote the reproductive health and rights of women and girls, thereby fostering healthier women and girls and their families. The support we received over the years from the Government and people of the United States has saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, and especially now in the rapidly developing global humanitarian crises. With previous United States contributions, UNFPA was combatting gender-based violence and reducing the scourge of maternal deaths in the world’s most fragile settings, in areas of conflict and natural disasters, including Iraq, Nepal, Sudan, Syria, the Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen.
We have always valued the United States as a trusted partner and leader in helping to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. We, therefore, look forward to continuing our work with the United States to address these global concerns and to restore our strong partnership to save the lives of women and girls globally, within the framework of the global development goals, thereby leaving no one behind.
The UNFPA is one with the country in mourning the loss of former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani.
The Shahani-Ramos families lost a dear bastion of light and inspiration, and the Philippines - a pioneering and staunch advocate of population, development, and human rights. Many, many generations of Filipino women and adolescent girls are enjoying their rights as they do now because of the invaluable contribution of Senator Ramos-Shahani in advancing these rights; and many, many more Filipino women and adolescent girls may miss future opportunities in furthering these rights, as Senator Ramos-Shahani leave policymakers, development workers, and the civil society bereft of her fearless guidance.
In 1996, the United Nations bestowed on her the United Nations Population Award, recognizing her more than 30 years of leadership in the field of population. For all the trailblazing influence she made in the Philippine Congress which paved the way for the creation of the Commission on Population and the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development, the Philippines now sees itself steadily progressing towards the full recognition of reproductive health rights as human rights.
The loss of Senator Ramos-Shahani will always be profoundly felt. For us at the UNFPA, her legacy can only be honored by the organization’s unwavering commitment to stand up for the same rights she has always fought for, until every Filipino woman and adolescent girl count.
12 January 2017
Statement on Executive Order No. 12
The Executive Order No. 12 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte supporting the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law is a major push for the government’s family planning program, which has been hindered by various challenges to the implementation of the landmark law.
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, remains fully committed to supporting the government and civil society partners on this effort. UNFPA has been working with local governments in ensuring that access to quality reproductive health services, including family planning, will be available especially for the poorest and disadvantaged communities who need these services most.
“The full and immediate implementation of the RPRH Law is critically important for the government to deliver on its family planning program, which has been identified by President Duterte as one of his priorities when he assumed office,” said Klaus Beck, UNFPA Country Representative.
The EO contributes to the Philippines’ commitment to fulfilling the 2030 sustainable development agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), whose aim is ultimately to leave no one behind, especially the most vulnerable.
“The RPRH Law is a fundamental component to a comprehensive approach to poverty alleviation and human development in the Philippines, and is critical to realizing reproductive rights, including the right to choose freely and responsible if and when to have children, reducing maternal mortality and the realization of the development goals on health, gender and poverty,” Mr. Beck added.
The President’s order will lend new momentum to the implementation of the RPRH Law as it demonstrates the highest level of support to the measure. The EO also clearly defines the role of various government units in enforcing the law and provides clear instructions on the funding needed to implement it, as well as the accountability mechanism to ensure that the RPRH Law and the EO are implemented. All of this will boost RPRH law implementation.
Concerns remain however with one key challenge to the full implementation of the law being the Philippine Supreme Court's temporary restraining order related to the registration and certification of contraceptives. The order has been in effect for more than a year now and UNFPA hopes that it can be lifted as soon as possible in order to avoid adverse impact on the supply of contraceptives in the country.
UNFPA also hopes that the EO will form part of a comprehensive and holistic effort by the government and people of the Philippines toward the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development based on the protection and fulfillment of the human rights of all the people of the Philippines.
The State of World Population 2016
UNFPA’s State of World Population 2016 report shows that empowering today’s 10-year-old girls could yield huge demographic and economic dividends and build better societies.
Manila, 20 October 2016 — HIV/AIDS, teenage pregnancy and child labour are undermining girls’ health, rights and opportunities and threaten the world’s new and ambitious development agenda, warns UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in The State of World Population 2016, released today.
Practices that harm girls and violate their human rights--starting at age 10--prevent them from realizing their full potential as adults and from contributing to the economic and social progress of their communities and nations. Without their contribution, the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals may never be achieved.
“Impeding a girl’s safe, healthy path through adolescence to a productive and fulfilling adulthood is a violation of her rights,” says Klaus Beck UNFPA Representative in the Philippines. “But it also takes a toll on her community and nation. Whenever a girl’s potential goes unrealized, we all lose.”
Girls who reach adulthood with an education and their health and rights intact could triple their lifetime incomes, thereby fueling progress for generations and entire nations, the report states.
“By ensuring the over 1 million 10 year-old girls in the Philippines get the tools, know-how and opportunities they need to meet their potential, they could each earn over 45 per cent more over the next 15 years,” notes UNFPA’s Beck.
Ten is a pivotal age for girls everywhere, as puberty approaches. In some parts of the world, a girl at this age enjoys limitless possibilities and begins making choices on her education and later life. But elsewhere, girls are seen as commodities to be bought, sold or traded, the UNFPA report shows. She may be forced to marry, pulled out of school and forced to bear children and begin a life of servitude.
“In the Philippines, teenage pregnancy limits far too many girls’ hopes, dreams and aspirations. It also costs the country around P33 billion each year in foregone earnings,” says UNFPA’s Beck.
“By ensuring girls right to education, including age appropriate comprehensive sexuality education and access to youth friendly sexual and reproductive health services and advice, we could improve the lives of hundreds of thousands, reap long term gains, and help ensure the success of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
The new development agenda, endorsed by world leaders in 2015, is global blueprint peace, prosperity and a sustainable future to 2030, leaving no one behind. Removing the barriers that hold 10-year-old girls back today will help make sure the agenda is a success, the report argues.
The State of World Population report notes that of the 125 million 10-year-olds today, 60 million are girls who are systematically disadvantaged at the global level as they move through adolescence into adulthood. Girls are less likely than boys to complete formal schooling at the secondary and university levels, are more likely to be in poorer physical and mental health, and will find it harder to get paid jobs.
The challenge now, the UNFPA reports argues, is to scale up these interventions to reach more girls, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, by age 10.
“How we invest in and support 10-year-old girls today will determine what our world will look like in 2030,” notes UNFPA’s Klaus Beck. “With support from family, community and nation, and the full realization of her rights, a 10-year-old girl can thrive and help bring about the future we all want.”
- Nine out of 10 10-year-old girls live in developing countries, and one in five lives in a least developed country: one in five is in India, and one in eight in China.
- Each year of education delivers an additional 11.7 per cent uplift in wages in later life for girls (compared with 9.6 per cent for men). Yet, 16 million girls between 6 and 11 will never start school. That’s twice the number of boys.
- If all the 10-year-old girls who drop out of school or do not attend school in developing countries completed secondary education, they would trigger a $21 billion annual dividend.
- More than half of the world’s 65 million 10-year-old girls live in the 48 countries with the worst gender inequality.
- Ten per cent of 5-to-14 year-old girls do more than 28 hours of household chores per week, twice that of boys. Three in four girl labourers are unpaid.
- Every day, an estimated 47,700 girls are married before 18.
Key national statistics
- There are over 1 million 10-year old Filipino girls. If their rights and needs are met, they could earn almost 45% more over the next 15 years.
- Investing in and empowering the over 1 million Filipino 10 year-old girls today and over the next 15 years could boost GDP by almost 13% of today’s GDP.
- By age 19, 4 in 10 girls in the Philippines are – or will soon be – mothers.
- P33 billion in earnings are foregone each year through teenage pregnancy. That’s over 1% of GDP (2012)
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Respect, equality and cultural sensitivity:
Boosting maternal health among Mindanao’s indigenous communities
|Remarks by UNFPA Philippines Representative Klaus Beck at the closure of the project: ‘addressing maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition needs of indigenous people and indigenous cultural communities and other disadvantaged communities in Mindanao (IPMNCHN).
Montevista, 11 October 2016
Today marks a huge milestone for us all, as we close a superb project that has brought quality maternal care to thousands more women and girls, empowered a range of indigenous communities, and helped save hundreds of newborn and mother lives.
Under the leadership of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Department of Health, and with generous support from the European Union, we’ve reached over 117,000 people with advice on family planning and pregnancy, including 8000 pregnant and lactating women across Mindanao.
And since January 2013, 81 health fairs across 10 indigenous areas have reached over 7,200 women with prenatal care, family planning and reproductive health services.
We’ve helped to train doctors, nurses, midwives and community health workers on family planning, emergency obstetrics, gender and reproductive health.
We’ve equipped two community health and birthing stations with fully trained staff, and provided 12 sets of birthing facility equipment to the project sites.
And we’ve run communications campaigns to encourage people to use the new services, to improve their own health and to tackle teenage pregnancy in indigenous and disadvantaged communities.
The list goes on.
But behind every single statistic - are thousands of real people’s lives that have been made better through your work.
People like Gillian, a 25 year old mother of one from the Dibabawon Indigenous group living in Barangay Camansi.
After having her first child, Gillian, in consultation with the new community care workers, used family planning to space her births better.
She wanted to earn more money to add to her husband’s income as a labourer before having another child.
Her son recently started school, and she wants him to be able to keep going with his education, and go all the way to university - if that’s what he wants.
Gillian is now 5 months pregnant with her second child.
Thanks to a new birthing facility and a community health programme nearby, she won’t be forced to make a long journey to ensure a safe birth this time around.
And with quality services nearby, she is far less likely to die through childbirth.
With family planning options and advice now available, she can stick to her family’s financial plan to save enough cash to ensure her children get the opportunities that she never had.
Gillian’s story is just one of thousands. Many more indigenous women and girls are now more healthy and productive, and better able to plan their way out of poverty, thanks to your work.
And looking forward to the next generation, we could soon have a huge, skilled set of graduates to propel themselves, their families and their communities towards a more prosperous and equitable future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the past, Indigenous groups like Gillian’s have often been a low priority for support. Many also faced discrimination and barriers to accessing key services like health and education.
By working with indigenous leaders, supporting local businesses and helping almost 11,500 indigenous people get birth certificates, this project has helped to change that.
With birth certificates, people can now access healthcare, the national insurance system and schools. They can get bank accounts to plan their finances. And whilst safeguarding and celebrating your traditional cultures, you can benefit from the some of the best of non-traditional life as well.
In this sense, the project has truly helped to advance the global vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – that of leaving no-one behind.
Looking forward, it will be up to the Indigenous Peoples’ Leaders, local LGU partners, the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Department of Health to drive forward the success we’ve seen under the project.
I sincerely hope that the structures, training methodologies and communications activities are institutionalized into the local and regional planning systems.
Similarly, the project has, and should continue to generate a wealth of useful data for sound policymaking in tackling maternal deaths, service provision and poverty reduction.
I personally, and UNFPA as a whole, is proud, honoured and delighted to have been part of this life-changing project.
And I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the European Union, the National Commission on Indigenous People and the Department of Health for their confidence in allowing us to be part of this.
As always, UNFPA is on hand to assist and advise as best we can in future.
If there is one clear message from our shared work with and for indigenous communities, it is this:
Safer births and family planning build stronger, empowered communities. And ultimately a more prosperous and equitable nation.
Thank you very much ug Maayong Hapon sa atoang tanan.
UNFPA mourns the sudden passing of Senator Miriam Defensor, a passionate and relentless advocate for reproductive health and rights. We wish to convey our deepest sympathy to her loved ones at this difficult time.
Senator Santiago led an extraordinary battle against corruption, political awareness and engaged citizenship. She consistently supported UNFPA with her leadership in the passage of the Responsible Parenthood - Reproductive Health (RPRH) Bill of 2012. With her death, UNFPA has lost an ally who displayed an unwavering determination in securing legislative support for our cause. Under the late Senator’s inspired leadership, the RPRH law was passed in the Congress after over 14 years of hard work. Her steadfast partnership with UNFPA remains an inspirational example of collaboration between the UN and the Government of Philippines. The partnership will always be celebrated as a powerful achievement to bring about better reproductive health care across the country.
The best way to honour her formidable achievements is to continue to support the causes she passionately argued for, to live by her principles and remain vigilant of our rights and freedoms.
Photo By Danremo08 (Own work ) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Department of Health
2016 Breastfeeding and Family Planning Forum
The Pearl Manila Hotel
29 September 2016
Breastfeeding and Family Planning:
Keys to Sustainable Development
Honorable NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia
Honorable DOH Under Secretary Gerry Bayugo, Director Enrique Tayag
Colleagues from the United Nations: Gundo Weiler (WHO), Lotta Sylwander (UNICEF), Robert Rosadia (World Bank)
RPRH NIT Chairperson Dr. Esperanza Cabral
Colleagues from the Civil Society: ARUGAAN, LIKHAAN
Partners from DOH Regional Offices, Local Government Units and the Media
First, I wish to congratulate the Department of Health on the occasion of its 2016 Breastfeeding and Family Planning Forum, and for bringing us all together to drive forward our vision of universal health care and of maternal and child health.
Last week, our team met Gillian in Mindanao. Gillian is a 25 year old mother of one from the Dibabawon Indigenous group. She is five months pregnant with her second child.
Thanks to a new birthing facility and a community health programme, she won’t be forced to make a long and arduous journey to ensure a safe birth this time around.
With quality services nearby, she is far less likely to die related to childbirth.
After her first child, in consultation with the new community care workers in her area, Gillian decided to wait before having a second child.
She wanted to earn a little extra money to add to her husband’s income as a labourer nearby.
And her son recently started at the local school, and she wants him to go all the way to university, if that’s what he wants.
So she thought that by getting work, and more experience, she could help make sure her kids can go all way, and enjoy more advantages than she had.
Multiply Gillian’s story by millions across the country, and you will soon have a skilled set of graduates to power the economy of the future.
If today’s and tomorrow’s young people are given good advice and quality services, they will avoid the pitfalls of early pregnancy, early marriage and sexually transmitted infections, and propel the country to greater prosperity.
If their rights, choices and opportunities are respected and granted, we will go a long way to bring the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals into reality by 2030.
We’ve seen some significant health gains in the Philippines in recent years - rising life expectancies, better health facilities and more, better social and health insurance coverage.
Yet maternal mortality has remained almost flat over the last 20 years. Too many mothers still die related to childbirth. In 1995 it the ratio was at 122 deaths per 100,000 live births. In 2015 it was at 114.
Most deaths occur during birth, or within the first 24 hours afterwards. Yet contraceptives are also key to bringing down maternal deaths.
According to a John Hopkins University study in 2012, up to 55% of maternal deaths in the Philippines could be averted by contraceptive use.
Yet contraceptive use is stubbornly low. In 2013. The NDHS put modern contraceptive use at 38 percent.
The unmet need for family planning is high, at 18%, and women from the lowest socio-economic levels have the greatest unmet need, at over 21%.
Yet there are positive signs. The Reproductive Health Law was a landmark for the country, and it is superb to see the new administration making the full implementation of the law a cornerstone of its 0 plus 10 point socio-economic agenda.
The Department of Health has laid the foundations for some serious improvements in the family planning programme. More recently the Department of Health, with partners, has also developed its first Costed Implementation Plan for Family Planning for 2017-2020.
The plan provides a detailed costing of the investments needed for reproductive health commodity security. And more broadly, it should boost efficiency in the family planning programme across all areas.
Yet to reap all these gains, Congress must approve the pre-requisite budget.
To finish up, I’d just like to say a few words as a dad.
I have two daughters, aged 11 and 14, so I personally know how hard it can be – for both parents and children – to start talking about sex and relationships.
But we have to, because ultimately it’s about their health, safety and wellbeing.
In the Philippines, far too many teenage girls are getting pregnant – and so put themselves and their babies at risk.
According to the latest Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey almost 23% of 18 year old girls and 35% of 19 year old girls have begun childbearing. Many end up leaving school and giving up on their dreams.
It has been estimated that early childbearing cost the Philippines 33 billion Pesos each year. That is 1.1% of GDP!
Add in the costs of failing to see so many talented young people reach their potential for the country, and the numbers would be astronomical.
Full implementation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education, already part of the RPRH law is crucial to tackle this, as well as taking on attitudes and stigma that prevents young people from getting the advice and services they need.
Amid the operational and legal challenges in the full implementation of the RH Law, including the existing Supreme Court TRO on Subdermal Implants, the leadership of the DOH, the National Implementation Team, and the support of RH advocates and civil society organizations, is absolutely critical to making a success of the family planning programme.
As always, UNFPA is on hand to help wherever it can, because as the Philippine Health Agenda says, by all of us working for health we can achieve health for all.
For the millions of mothers like Gillian in Mindanao, who just want their young ones to get the best start in life, and for the millions of young people that are striving to fulfill their potential, it is absolutely vital that they have the knowledge and products they need to plan their futures.
Safer births, and better family planning, helps build a stronger nation.
Maraming salamat po!
Some P33 billion in potential lifetime income for teenage girls is lost due to early pregnancy, according to a new study on teen pregnancy.
The study funded by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, showed that early childbearing reduces high school completion rates and eventually decreases the predicted daily wage rate profile of women in the Philippines, underscoring the economic implications of teenage pregnancy.
Health economist and research proponent Dr. Alejandro Herrin calculated that a teenage girl who gets pregnant and does not finish high school may potentially lose earnings up to P83,000 a year when she gets paid for work at age 20. This is about 87 per cent of the potential annual income of a 20-year-old woman who completed her high school education and did not get pregnant in her teen years.
Using 2012 and 2013 data from several surveys of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Herrin predicted that pregnancy or childbirth during a girl’s teen years reduce the probability of high school completion. “There is a wide gap in the estimated daily wage rate between a girl who got pregnant early and a girl who gets to finish school,” he said.
The study shows that completing high school education increases daily wage rates of women by P300. At age 20, a girl who began childbearing before age 18 may only earn about P46 a day, compared to the P361 per day estimate for someone who completed high school and did not get pregnant early.
“When taken altogether, the potential lifetime earnings lost due to early childbearing is P33 billion, which is equal to 1.1 per cent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product in 2012,” explained Herrin at a forum on young parenthood organized by Center for Health Solutions and Innovations (CHSI).
On average, 72 per cent of women aged 18-19 years are expected to complete high school if they did not begin childbearing before age 18. The predicted completion rate for teens who began childbearing early is lower at only 65 per cent.
“These results suggest that policies on reducing early childbearing are likely to have substantial impact on the education and economic conditions of women and their families,” concluded Herrin.
“We need to realize that teen pregnancy is not just a health issue. When a girl gets pregnant, her health, education and relationships with her family and community all get entangled in a life-changing roller-coaster,” said UNFPA Country Representative Klaus Beck.
The social environment of Filipino teen
Another study by renowned demographer Dr. Corazon Raymundo cited risk behaviors and effects of teenage pregnancy on the social environment of a Filipino girl. Using data from the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey (YAFSS), Raymundo presented an alarming profile of a pregnant teen.
“Smoking and the use of alcohol and drugs among teens may predict the likelihood of teen pregnancy,” said Raymundo. A girl who admitted having used drugs is six times more likely to engage in premarital sex than a girl who has not used any drugs.
Other factors that predict early sexual encounters and teenage pregnancy are living away from home, being idle or doing nothing, and having older siblings who have gotten pregnant or given birth in their teen years.
Reasonable parenting style and open communication with parents may prevent teen pregnancy. Raymundo and her research team interviewed parents and teenagers in 10 different provinces and found that both parents and their adolescents are open to talking about sex, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
“They just don’t know how and where to start,” said Raymundo, pointing out the need to help parents communicate more effectively with their teen children.
The Commission on Population (POPCOM) is pushing for the enactment of an Adolescent Health Act. “We are starting to gather our evidences to push for a law that will help adolescents and their parents gain better access to information and services on adolescent health and youth development,” said Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, POPCOM executive director.
Beck said the results of these studies will greatly inform development programs for Filipino adolescents. “It should not be business-as-usual for Filipino teens, especially girls. We need to realize that what we do for Filipino teens now determines the kind of country the Philippines will be a decade later.”
It has been a year but Bebelonia Andata from an indigenous people’s community in Zamboanga del Sur in southern Philippines, will never forget the joy she felt when she finally received her birth certificate at age 49.
For Bebelonia, having a birth certificate is like proving her existence. Finally, she won’t have to grapple to prove her identity when applying for social services to enjoy her rights as a Filipino.
“I am old but having a birth certificate remains important to me. I will soon be a senior citizen and I have to make sure that I will continue to have access to health services and enjoy other entitlements for old people,” Bebelonia said with a laugh.
Her birth certificate is so important to Bebelonia that she brings it with her anywhere she goes. “Just making sure that I have it when I am asked for it because we live in a remote village and it is difficult to go back home to retrieve it when needed,” she explained.
Bebelonia belongs to the Subanen tribe in the municipality of Dumingag in Zamboanga del Sur. It takes her up to two hours commuting by motorcycle to reach the town proper. She and more than 9,000 other people from indigenous communities are among those who have so far benefited from the late birth registration component of the Indigenous Peoples Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition (IPMNCHN) Project of the European Union and United Nations Population Fund.
Joan Sulit, 27, from the same Subanen tribe, said access to health care became easier after she obtained her birth certificate and registered for health services. In fact, she was able to deliver her second child in a health center with PhilHealth accreditation.
Other mothers also speak of improved access to education for their children who were given birth certificates, as well as enrolling their family to the government’s conditional cash transfer program.
“The birth registration is very important not just for us but for each member of our families and we are very thankful that the UNFPA project gave this opportunity to indigenous peoples,” said Vilma Arat, 44.
Implemented together with the Department of Health (DOH) and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the IPMNCHN Project covers Sitio Gawasan in Carmen, North Cotabato; Dumingag in Zamboanga del Sur; Barangay Binicalan in San Luis, Agusan del Sur; Montevista in Compostela Valley; and Kitaotao in Sinuda, Bukidnon.