DOH to couples: Practice responsible sex during pandemic, avail of free contraceptives if you must


Posted at Apr 28 2020 08:18 PM

A couple crosses the Macapagal Avenue in Parañaque amid the enhanced community quarantine on April 17, 2020. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday urged couples to avoid unplanned pregnancies, as millions are under lockdown due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

“Sa panahon ng COVID-19, maging responsableng magulang,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.

“Protektahan natin ang ating pamilya, hindi lamang para sa COVID-19, kung hindi pati na rin sa isang mabuti at malusog na pamilya at sa di planadong pagbubuntis.”

Couples who previously used condoms and birth control pills can avail 3 months’ supply of contraceptives at barangay health centers, Vergeire said.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila residents who are seeking family planning advice can call Telimed Management and Medgate at (02) 8424-1724, and Globe Telehealth Inc (KonsultaMD) at (02) 7798-8000, which is free for Globe and TM users.

For couples thinking of long-term family planning, they can avail of such services at their health centers, Vergeire said.

The Population Commission (Popcom) has said that reproductive health needs increase in times of calamities, which could lead to a rise of unplanned pregnancies.

For those seeking reproductive health information, the public may call Popcom through these numbers: (02) 8782-9284; (02) 8531-6897; 0917-597-0770; and 0998-865-2810.

Popcom's wellness clinic in Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City is also open Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Per Popcom estimates, the Philippines has a population of 108 million people, according to 2015 projections. The Philippine Statistics Authority placed the growth rate in 2015, the last census, at 1.72 percent. The next census is set for this year.