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Becoming clear.

  • Rakia, N
Published Article
Integration (Tokyo, Japan)
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1993
PMID: 12286366


An interview with the journal Integration and the Special Advisor to the Secretary of Health on the Implementation of the Local Government Code focuses on family planning and fertility in the Philippines. Science and technology has reduced mortality and, subsequently, the total fertility rate (TFR) from 6.8 in 1965 to 3.8 in 1993. Yet traditional beliefs, particularly in rural areas, have prevented the fall in the TFR from being as abrupt as that of mortality. Catholicism no longer has the same influence on Filipino couples as it did in the past, so that today most family planning acceptors (65%) consider family planning to be an economic issue rather than a moral issue. In fact, more people are seeking family planning services and information. More access to family planning services, economic pressure, population pressure, and pressure of basic services contribute to the lower TFR in urban areas than in rural areas (2.61 vs. 4.05, 1985). The belief that immortality stems from many children, inaccessible clinics, limited supplies, and rumors about side effects work against fertility reduction in rural areas. Even though Filipinos value education and quality education is costly, rural couples have not yet considered education costs as a determinant of family size. The Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development holds regional conferences on population for local government officials and, besides population and development, it deals with women's status, environment, management, and family planning. Asking women what they know about reproductive health unearths unmet needs of family planning, e.g., impolite staff and inaccessible clinics. The information, education, and communication program holds much promise. Non governmental groups should identify perceived health needs in an area (e.g., intestinal parasites) and integrate them into a family planning program. Now 10% to 20% of acceptors pay for family planning services, but by the year 2000 this figure could be between 40% and 60%.

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