The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) will continue pursuing key policies on family planning and addressing poverty thresholds under Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, who has been reappointed executive director for another six years by the Marcos administration.
Perez said in a statement Sunday that a stable population growth rate of one percent, single-digit population poverty rate, and zero hunger at household levels will be the center of the Philippine population and development program for 2022 to 2028.
Under his renewed tenure at PopCom, the implementation of the country’s reproductive health and family planning programs; upholding sexual and reproductive health and rights of couples, individuals, and adolescents; and advocating for Filipino families’ improved quality of life through decent living wages across the archipelago will continue.
Among the issues that Perez wants to look into is the lack of professionals trained to do ligation and vasectomy operations.
He is planning to join forces with the Department of Health to form teams in regions that will go around to conduct such procedures.
“Maybe just one or two hospitals in every region that can do a ligation regularly,” he said in a previous interview.
Perez also said in a media briefing last month that he will meet with Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the mother agency of PopCom.
“I will cover the same area and the priorities of PopCom with him. I will be listening to what he wants to see happen in the commission. I will tell him the commission is ready to work with him. We are more than happy that he brings to the commission, as our mother agency, his expertise in population and development, and poverty reduction. We’re happy with him joining NEDA,” he said in an interview.
Dr. Grace Cruz of the University of the Philippines-Population Institute, PopCom’s new board chairperson, swore in Perez on Friday afternoon.