November 29, 2023

Responsible parenthood and reproductive health (RPRH) plays a significant role in shaping the future of families, communities and nations; contributes to healthier and more prosperous communities; empowers wo-men; reduces poverty and promotes human rights.

In the Cordillera, effective promotion of RPRH programs and services helped lower the region’s fertility rate from the 2.5 percent in the 2017 National Health Demographic Survey (NDHS) to 2.1 percent in the 2022 NDHS.

In recognition of the contributions of local government units, hospitals and agencies in RPRH, the Department of Health-Cordillera feted them in the 2023 Gawad Kalusugan on Oct. 20.

The Provincial Health Offices (PHO) of Benguet, Mountain Province, Kalinga, and Apayao and the Municipal Health Office (MHO) of La Trinidad, Benguet were recognized for their outstanding RPRH accomplishments in 2022.

The Benguet PHO received recognition for demonstrating exceptional leadership in advancing reproductive health initiatives. It also has a track record of conducting four quarterly meetings in 2022.

The Mountain Province PHO was awarded for introducing innovative approaches or solutions to improve family planning services that led to increased access, awareness, or utilization of family planning me-thods and services.

The Kalinga PHO was recognized for having significant contributions to educating health service providers and conducting comprehensive critical RPRH skills training in 2022.

The Apayao PHO received recognition for doing exceptional work in increasing access to contraceptive services. It also recorded the highest accomplishments for demand satisfied for modern family planning in 2022.

For the La Trinidad MHO, it was recognized for being outstanding advocate for reproductive rights and equity. It has also effectively promoted policies and initiatives that ensure access to reproductive health services for all regardless of gender, age or socioeconomic status.

For regional line agencies and hospitals, awardees were the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Department of Social Welfare and Development-CAR, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government-CAR.

The BGHMC has demonstrated unwavering dedication to improving adolescent health services, and with the establishment of a Teen Parent Clinic as one of its significant effort while the DSWD-CAR was recognized for being champion for addressing gender -based violence and its significant effort in promoting the 18-day campaign to end VAW while the DILG-CAR was cited for creating their own Men Opposed against VAW Everywhere or MOVE organization.

DOH Regional Director Rio Magpantay and Commission on Population and Development Regional Director Cecile Basawil led the awarding of the plaques of recognition to the awardees.

Magpantay stressed the importance of RPRH in advancing the goals of the Universal Health Care primarily to ensure access to quality health care to all Filipinos down the grassroots level.  – Carlito Dar