Executive Order 71, which seeks to rename the Commission on Population (POPCOM) to the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on December 13. The Order would also return the CPD to National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). It is currently under the Department of Health (DOH).
Both NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia and DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III have expressed their support of the renaming and reassigning, saying that the move would strengthen the CPD and its ability to implement the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RPRH).
“We will certainly step up the implementation of the RPRH Law, which will benefit all Filipino families,” said Pernia.
The Commission on Population, by virtue of Presidential Decree 79, is tasked to forumlate and adopt policies regarding population management as they relate to the economic and social development of the Philippines. Consistent with this, the CPD (POPCOM) shall also undertake formulating a national program of family planning which gives due respect to the religious beliefs and values held by Filipinos. Its return to NEDA, the chief economic development agency of the government, would better allow it to pursue this mandate.
“We support President Duterte’s commitment to assist Filipinos in Family Planning through the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law. The Department of Health will continue to work with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and other agencies toward achieving our mutual goals.” said Duque.
The CPD (POPCOM) was previously attached to NEDA, from 1991 to 2003. Its supervision was placed under the DOH by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo through EO 188.
“With the decision of the President, POPCOM’s mandate clarified its role in the national family planning program as an integrator of all government efforts in this area, together with the support of its former mother agency, DOH, and with the guidance of NEDA.” said POPCOM CPD Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio A. Perez III.
“Change is inevitable as it is bound to happen in every organization. But what remains the same is our commitment to continue what we have started since our agency’s creation almost 50 years ago. We will take the lead in contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of all Filipino families by empowering them through responsible parenting, family planning, adolescent health and development, and population and development integration.” he added.