Further expands FP service delivery in provinces amid Covid-19
The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) is currently strengthening its capacity to support the supply chain for family planning (FP) commodities nationwide, as it inaugurates new warehouses in the provinces, including those in the cities of Legazpi, Zamboanga, Davao and Cotabato.
Said warehouses will ensure the availability of FP information and services in health facilities, deemed crucial in preventing unplanned pregnancies among couples and individuals, especially at this time of the pandemic.
POPCOM revealed its FP supply hubs in Regions 5, 9, 11 and 12 will serve not only their communities, but also neighboring regions through the expanded provision of FP commodities.
The facilities will effectively ensure the needed supply of the said items within the regions and surrounding local government units, especially those from the grassroots level as well as geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
The POPCOM Region XI Warehouse started operations on Aug. 12. Located inside the Southern Philippines Medical Center Compound along Dumanlas Friendship Road in Bajada, Davao City, the facility houses an FP and Wellness Clinic, which provides free FP services, while currently fulfilling the FP requirements of nearby Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, or BARMM.
Meanwhile, the POPCOM Region V Warehouse in Buraguis, Legazpi City, Albay formally opened its doors on August 28. It has ample space to store fresh supplies of pills and subdermal implants, among others, and enables re-stocking of the same as needed by rural health units in Bicolandia, as well as Regions 7 (Central Visayas) and 8 (Eastern Visayas).
Almost complete in its renovation, the POPCOM Region IX Warehouse in Cabatangan, Zamboanga City will be the regional hub for storage and distribution of FP supplies and commodities for the entire Zamboanga Peninsula, as well as the provinces of Misamis Occidental, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Already functional, the POPCOM Region XII Warehouse/Regional Hub at the BARMM Compound in Cotabato City has been redistributing and repositioning FP commodities in four provinces and five cities of South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos, or SOCCSKSARGEN.
Amid the health crisis, Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, MD, MPH said POPCOM endeavored to establish the warehouses as the agency does its best to provide FP services and commodities to as many people as possible, enabling them to plan for their families.
“It is important to note that the pandemic has threatened the availability and accessibility of FP commodities and services in public health facilities that may result in unplanned pregnancies and their negative consequences,” POPCOM’s executive director said. “Our warehouses will be instrumental in helping generate and fulfill demand where they are needed, and when they are needed.”
As co-manager of the Department of Health (DOH) in the delivery of FP services on-the-ground, Perez said the warehouses are physical proofs of POPCOM’s commitment to continuously improve its service delivery by partaking responsibilities in supply-chain management.
“Through them, we are actively putting into action the storage, delivery and distribution of FP commodities in key areas mostly wanting of these, as evidenced by the monitoring reports generated by our population workers,” he said.
“The referral system which POPCOM has been actively doing as part of the co-management equation with the DOH can now be truly functional as we ensure the availability and accessibility of supplies to those with unmet need for FP,” the POPCOM chief shared. “It is only by responding to those needs that we can enable women, men and couples to make better decisions and eventually, help them uplift their lives.”
Perez shared the agency’s vision that all POPCOM warehouses will complement the availability of FP supplies with service provision through the proposed establishment of their respective Wellness Clinics.