MANILA — The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) on Sunday said organizers of community pantries should consider including family planning supplies and sexual hygiene items in their initiative.
In a statement, Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez said that the boom of stalls can also help give out family planning services and items that are essential and will help prevent unplanned and teenage pregnancies.
“POPCOM is very much supportive of community pantries as a form of collective action in alleviating the need for sustenance of our less privileged. We believe that they will welcome the addition of condoms and pills among the goods they will source—with the help of their local healthcare personnel,” Perez said in a statement.
Perez said that community pantries can seek the help of local health authorities in order to push through with the suggested initiative.
“As the most popular family planning method, pills need a prescription or enrollment in the family planning program. Our BHWs and BPVs can be invited to assist in dispensing such,” the official said.
Condoms meanwhile may be freely given to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections or STIs, as well as unplanned pregnancies.
Perez said local offices of POPCOM have been directed to help community pantries in giving out family planning supplies, condoms, and pills.
“To complement these noteworthy activities, POPCOM has also directed its regional offices to actively take part in community pantries in their locale, using various initiatives in partnership with BHWs and BPVs."
The head of POPCOM also reminded those who will distribute condoms and pills in community pantries, to observe health protocols at all times.