In a media release from the Commission on Population (PopCom-6), the recent NHDS results showed an increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for modern Family Planning in the region at 39.9 percent.
The figure is higher compared to previous studies conducted in 2003 at 30.1 percent, 2008 at 33.4 percent, and 2013 at 34.3 percent.
However, Popcom-6 Regional Director Harold Alfred Marshall said that the increase in CPR (all methods) of 56.9 percent is relatively low when compared to the national figure of 65 percent.
“And modern family planning use, although increasing, is only 39.9 percent,” he said.
The 2017 NDHS result on current use of contraceptive revealed Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) with the highest CPR of 62.6 percent, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as the lowest with 26.3 percent.
In Western Visayas, there is a fluctuating trend in female sterilization or bilateral tubal ligation (BTL) at 5.7 percent, from 6.8 percent in 2003, 7.0 percent in 2008, and 4.0 percent in 2013. The same fluctuation can also be seen in IUD Intra-uterine devise (IUD) use, while injectable use has plateaued at 4.5 percent.
The use of subdermal implants has no data in the previous NDHS since they were not made available until just recently because of the TRO from the Supreme Court. In the 2017 NDHS subdermal implant use was only 1.2 percent.
“The low utilization is the result of the temporary restraining orders hounding its implementation,” Marshall said.
The pill is the most popular contraceptive and enjoys a steady increase from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 23.4 percent in 2017. Male condom use is dismally low and fluctuating with only 1.5 percent in the recent NDHS.
The use of any traditional methods such as rhythm and withdrawal is also in the decline. On the other hand, while that those currently not using a method are declining, the figures are high, the decrease slow from 53.9 percent in 2003, 48.1 percent in 2008, 44.6 percent in 2013 and 43.1 percent in 2017.
Marshall said that with these findings there is a need to push for the strict implementation of the RP-RH Law.
“We need to achieve the desired fertility of women and couples by providing timely, legal and safe family planning services and achieve the desired outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Duterte Health Agenda, the Regional Development Plan, Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the realization of “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Planadong Pamilyang Pilipino,” he added.PIA-6