REPRODUCTIVE health, religion and politics were the focus of discussions among 200 advocates who met Thursday at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Iloilo Campus.

The forum on “puso, puson, pananampalataya and pulitika” or 4Ps was held at the UPV Graduate and Continuing Education Building as a timely information campaign spearheaded by Health Action Information Network (Hain), The Forum and LDM Philippines, in collaboration with the UPV Gender and Development Office and Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) Iloilo chapter.

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The forum seeks to highlight the collaboration of the private and government sectors in presenting to the public the current issues on reproductive health as a person’s right and the many family customs and traditions of the Filipinos.

Magdalena Lopez, country manager of IIE-LDM Philippines, said that members of the Catholics for Reproductive Health Speak Out! Movement, a fellowship of concerned individual Catholics who believe that reproductive health is a right, is also an important partner in this countrywide forum.

Regional Director Vicente Molejona of the Population Commission discussed the “puso” aspect of the forum, saying more young people are getting pregnant in Western Visayas.

Silay City in Negros Occidental posted the highest in the region at 18 percent on unwanted pregnancy.

Molejona also cited that more females graduated from high school than males, but more males are in politics and government service. Only 12 percent are female members of the Provincial Board and 27 percent are females of the total regional directors of government agencies and instrumentalities in Western Visayas.

Maricar Vallido of the Forum for Family Planning and Development discussed the “puson” aspect, while Municipal Council member L’Michelli Horlador of Badiangan, Iloilo focused on the “pulitika” topic.

Father Percy Bacani of the Missionaries of Jesus discussed the “pananampalataya” and the high risk of unwanted pregnancies and marriage. (LCP)