The Family Welfare Program of DOLE consist of ten (10) dimensions and 1 out of 10 dimensions of those is Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH). The RPRH Act of 2012, informally known as the Reproductive Health (RH) Law, provides access to methods of contraception, fertility control, sex education and maternal care.

According to the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the fertility rate of women in the Philippines dropped from an average of three children, down to 2.7. However, teenage pregnancy remained high with nine percent of women aged 15-19 childbearing. PSA data also showed that there were more than 200,000 women who were pregnant with 130,000 minors giving birth every year. These statistics show the need for Family Planning and adolescent health services.

As of December 2018 in Sta. Cruz, Zambales, there were about 2,841 women of reproductive age (WRA) within the age bracket of 14 – 49 years old, but only 1,795 had accepted family planning. Though the number is quite large, there were still 156 cases of teenage pregnancy detected by the health sector of the LGU, and that number can still increase since not all teenagers proceed to their Reproductive Health Units for check-up.

Being aware of this concern and establishing its own program about family welfare, Eramen Minerals Inc. took the opportunity to disseminate information to its employees and invite different barangays to take part in a seminar about RPRH. The Family Welfare Program was held last March 21, 2019, headed by the Safety and Health Department in coordination with the Community Relations Department (ComRel). ComRel helped gather representatives from the barangays within the mining area, known as the host barangays, as well as the neighboring barangays. The host barangays include Tubo-Tubo South, Lucapon South, Guisguis and Guinabon.

The speakers for the program were Jason Marty, a Registered Nurse, and Tanya Chiong. Eramen Minerals’s Company Nurse. The Family Welfare Program was divided into two parts, with the first part focused on safe motherhood and the latter on family planning. The first part was handled by Nurse Tanya, with the scope of discussion covering the proper handling of pregnancy up to the post-delivery checkups. Though the topic was quite serious, Nurse Tanya made sure her discussion on safe motherhood was enjoyable.

The second part of the program, Family Planning, was discussed by Nurse Jason. As having a baby is a big responsibility, the discussion showed the importance of having a family plan. He discussed what Family Planning is as well as the kinds of Family Planning: natural, temporary, and permanent. Topics that were included in the discussions were proper birth spacing as well as the different methods of contraception.The program concluded with Nurse Jason and Nurse Tanya collaborating to demonstrate the proper use and application of a condom, a tool used in Temporary Family Planning. These were also given out for free to attendees.

Overall, the program was a resounding success, with the community being oriented on safe motherhood and family planning in an informative yet fun, educational yet engaging forum. The impact of the seminar was not lost on the attendees as they chimed in on how the seminar helped them in their lives.

Ailyn Elamparo, an Eramen payroll assistant, spoke of how Family Planning helped save her life. “I needed to use permanent family planning because, after I got a cesarean with my second child, the doctor told my husband that my womb would not be good in child bearing anymore, so he needed to sign a waiver stating that he gave his consent for me to be ligated.” Marife Fontellera, a 48 year old midwife from Sta. Cruz, mentioned how Family Planning helps her provide the best life for her children. “Having another child is not the priority since life as of this moment is very difficult; almost all of the things needed to be bought for the family is expensive. As a parent of four, I really want to give the best for them, and that is why I am still using Family planning until now.”