THE BEST IN BICOL: LGU Naga’s CPNO is PopCom’s best performing population office
By Jason B. Neola LEGAZPI CITY --- Commending its exemplary performance in implementing population programs and advocacies, the Naga City Population and Nutrition Office (NCPNO) was recently conferred with “Best Performing Population Office” award by the regional office of the Commission on Population, here. The recognition was given during the 2017 Regional Population Congress which was held on November 29, 2017. For many years now, NCPNO has been spearheading the multi-awarded Population and Development Management Program of the Naga City government. A recipient of Rafael M. Salas Population and Development Awards for years 2000 and 2003, the population and nutrition office was adjudged this year’s best performing population office because of its laudable performance on effective population management that has also been receiving recognitions since the early 90’s. City Population and Nutrition Officer Teresita Del Castillo said Naga’s PopDev program has effectively localized the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) through self-initiated, self-financed, and self-managed projects and activities aimed at putting the people at the center of development and as partner in healthy community building. The initiative addresses the following needs: reproductive health and family planning, adolescent health and youth development, and population and development integration. Meeting the emerging challenges of sustainable development as well as the intergenerational equity and empowerment of both genders, the reproductive health approach adopted by the programs seeks to: address women’s health issues in its entirety as well as that of the child; improve the general quality and delivery of reproductive health and family planning services; engender fully-empowered and well-informed couples on the practice of fertility management; increase male involvement in reproductive health and family planning; and improve family welfare. In teenage health and development, the NCPNO program seeks to: address youth’s concerns on reproductive health, their values and sexuality, and the complications they may encounter due to ignorance, irresponsible decisions of peer pressure; help the youth establish rational attitudes and behavior towards population concerns in attaining a better quality of life for the individual, the family and the community. In population and development integration, because the development planning process is not complete without incorporating the “people factor,” the program seeks to ensure coordination and collective effort among participating government and non-government agencies, barangay councils, and concerned individuals for greater effectiveness and efficiency in program implementation. The Naga PopDev program also stands out on account of the following achievements: effective targeting, service availability, highly accessible family planning options, adequate IEC materials, quality health service delivery, expanded network of program partners, and strong institutional support.