Retained POPCOM exec. dir. to present proposed policy to Marcos admin

Wena Cos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 04 2022 01:55 PM

MANILA - Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III was reappointed as undersecretary for the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), effectively retaining his post as the commission's Executive Director for another term. 

Perez was sworn in by new board chairperson Dr. Grace Cruz of the University of the Philippines-Population Institute last July 1. 

Perez said his continued service to POPCOM will "enable the uninterrupted implementation of the country’s reproductive health and family planning programs."

Under his leadership, he expects that POPCOM programs will continue to uphold the sexual and reproductive health and rights of couples, individuals and adolescents, and advocate for the improved quality of Filipino's lives through decent living wages, he said in a statement. 

POPCOM will present to the new administration a new population policy centering on a program that aims to maintain a stable population growth rate and target a "single-digit population poverty, rate and zero hunger at household levels."

"Key policies on family planning for all and a living wage policy which addresses regional poverty thresholds will be pursued by POPCOM from the start," Perez added in a separate statement.

Perez was first appointed as POPCOM undersecretary pursuant to Executive Order 71 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018. He was POPCOM executive Director for five years prior. 

Perez is backed with 27 years of experience managing public and private sector health programs with the Department of Health (DOH), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He was also previously Officer-in-Charge of the DOH Bureau of Local Health Development.

Perez's previous term under the Duterte administration met targets of lowering fertility rates and increasing the number of Filipinos who use family planning. But while issues on reproductive health and responsible parenthood have been addressed, other areas to secure population development remain.

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