THE Commission on Population and Development in Central Luzon is set to celebrate the Population and Development (PopDev) Week from November 23 to 29, 2020, with the theme, “Addressing Demographic Vulnerabilities During Pandemic.”
According to PopCom Central Luzon Acting Regional Director lawyer Maricar Prieto, PopDev Week is an annual celebration per Executive Order No. 76, which aims to raise awareness on the interrelationship of population issues and development as well as to intensify campaigns and draw policies and programs on population concerns from various stakeholders.
This year’s theme focuses on the country’s demographic dimensions that affect conditions or situations brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. Prieto also mentioned that demographics play a key role at a time of pandemic as it identifies spatial characteristics that may either cause or enhance the exposure and possibility of individuals or segments of the population to be infected with a virus.
She further said with the approval of the Joint Memorandum Circular 2020-01 among national agencies on April 30, 2020, PopCom-Central Luzon together with the local government units (LGUs) represented by its provincial and city population offices adopted the use of the Demographic Vulnerability Tool (DVT) developed by the PopCom Central Office.
The said tool identifies the demographic vulnerabilities of localities based on the household density, the number of senior citizens residing in housing units along with other household members in floor areas less than 20 square meters, and the number of senior citizens residing alone in housing units having floor areas less than 20 square meters.
Based on the assessment of the demographic vulnerabilities using the Demographic Vulnerability Tool (DVT) and the 2010 Census of Population and Housing as the basis for the generation of estimation projections for the 2020 population, all cities and municipalities of Central Luzon are vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.
The findings showed all cities and municipalities of Central Luzon are vulnerable as evidenced by barangays within all cities and municipalities to have high, middle, or low vulnerability. The region is also shown to have 17.47 percent of its total barangays with high demographic vulnerability, 47.49 percent with middle vulnerability and 28.14 percent with low vulnerability. In almost all barangays of Central Luzon, the three demographic vulnerability indicators are present in terms of occurrence. Among the barangays which have at least one indicator present, housing unit density emerged as the major indicator followed by the total number of senior citizens living with other household members. The total number of senior citizens living alone was the least indicator.
Prieto also said the DVT helped some LGUs in planning for health measures as well as in drafting guidelines and other approaches in their communities. She added that the agency and the LGUs of Central Luzon continue to work on their respective demographic databases through the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) or the Registry of Barangay Inhabitants and Migrants (RBIM) in identifying vulnerable groups for more population-specific interventions.
Among the lined-up activities for PopDev Week Celebration in the region include The Outstanding Population Structure Award, which aims to publicly recognize the exemplary performances and contribution of population offices, especially during the time of pandemic in the implementation of the various programs under the Philippine Population Management Program. The validation of documents is set on the third week of November while the virtual awarding will be held on December 11, 2020.
The region will also participate in the national launching of rh-care.info website through the conduct RH Care Regional Road Show for Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning for Labor Force Empowerment on Friday, November 27, at 9 am via Zoom. The online platform aims to educate and support Filipinos by providing information on common concerns about family planning, maternal health, sexually transmitted infections/ human immunodeficiency viruses, gender-based violence and adolescent reproductive health. The website also features a facility locator to help clients access services at a convenient site.
The agency will also conduct a logo-making contest among local population officers and workers. The contest aims to produce a unique and original logo design for the Central Luzon Association of Population Officers and Workers, a non-profit organization and a devolved implementing body of the population program that oversees and implements population programs at the local level from the provinces down to the barangays. The awarding of winners will be on December 11.
Other activities of the region for the PopDev Week include hanging of streamers, radio and TV interviews, as well as posting of social media cards.
The celebration of the Population and Development Week is under Presidential Proclamation No. 76, S-1992, signed into law by then-president Fidel V. Ramos.