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Filipino men must share responsibility for maternal care, children’s health, and nutrition.

Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Officer-in-Charge Director Lolito Tacardon believes that if men publicly accept “contraceptive responsibility,” the challenge of countering the burden of family planning and Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) on their female partners, as well as lowering the dangers of newborn and maternal fatalities, can be met.

According to the Department of Health’s (DOH) 2020 Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS), around 400,000 Filipino men currently use condoms, up from 270,000 in 2016. POPCOM emphasized that condoms, when used properly, can considerably reduce the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

However, only about 15,000 non-scalpel vasectomies (NSV) surgeries were done, accounting for less than 1% of the 8.1 million family planning users in 2020. This indicates that NSV remains unpopular.

POPCOM, through their program ‘Kalalakihang Tapat sa Responsibilidad at Obligasyon sa Pamilya (KATROPA),’ continues to empower and educate fathers, husbands, and heads of families to embrace their leadership roles by not just being concerned about the overall growth of children and getting involved in the welfare of their families, but also showing their wives or partners a higher level of attention.

Additionally, POPCOM conducts free NSV to encourage men to participate in family planning.

Tacardon stressed that neither condoms nor NSV affects a man’s virility, libido, and sexual drive. He added, “NSV, for instance, is a simple outpatient operation that involves the cutting and sealing of a small tube—the vas deferens—which will impede the flow of semen. It is, not in any way, a form of castration.”

Every November 19, the world celebrates International Men’s Day. POPCOM takes this opportunity to encourage Filipino men to become more involved in making responsible sexual decisions.

For family planning concerns in National Capital Region (NCR), POPCOM-NCR advises couples and individuals to avail of family planning information and services from their nearest health center. If the health center’s desired family planning service is unavailable, they can visit the POPCOM Family Wellness Clinic at Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City, or reach them through the HELPLINE numbers 09617432337/0945908478. (PIA-NCR)