The Influence of Local Policy on Contraceptive Provision and Use in Three Locales in the Philippines

Posted: 3 Feb 2010  

Romeo B. Lee

Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Lourdes P. Nacionales

Population Commission, Mandaluyong City, Philippines

Luis Pedroso

Population Commission, Manaluyong City, Philippines

Date Written: January 28, 2010

Abstract

The Philippines has a family planning programme, but modern contraceptive prevalence has been moderate. Among low-income women, fewer are using modern methods, resulting in a fertility rate among them of 5.9. This limited use is due to lack of consistent national and local government support for modern methods because of religious opposition. Following devolution of responsibility for health services to local government in 1991, three local leaders – in Laguna Province and the cities of Manila and Puerto Princesa – passed anti-modern contraceptive policies. This paper analyses the status and impact of these policies, using information from interviews with local government officials and family planning officers, published data and studies, and accounts in national newspapers. In Laguna Province and Puerto Princesa, the policies were ineffectually implemented or short-lived. The strictly-enforced Manila law, however, has severely disrupted the city's provision of free contraception to and method use by low-income women. The great majority of Filipinos (89%) approve of modern contraceptives. There is an urgent need to improve low-income women's access to modern contraceptives through itinerant and community-based distribution, especially in poor neighbourhoods in Manila, but also throughout the country. Strategies for increasing local government support for and provision of modern methods are also needed.

Keywords: Contraception, Family Planning Services, Devolution, Unmet Need, Health Policy and Programmes, Philippines

Suggested Citation

Lee, Romeo B. and Nacionales, Lourdes P. and Pedroso, Luis, The Influence of Local Policy on Contraceptive Provision and Use in Three Locales in the Philippines (January 28, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1543800

Romeo B. Lee (Contact Author)

Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan ( email )

Kita 15 Jo Nishi 7 Chome, Kita-ku
Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-8638
Japan
81117065051 (Phone)
81117067374 (Fax)

Lourdes P. Nacionales

Population Commission, Mandaluyong City, Philippines ( email )

Mandaluyong City
Philippines

Luis Pedroso

Population Commission, Manaluyong City, Philippines ( email )

Mandaluyong City
Philippines

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