The World Population Day is an international event celebrated on July 11 of every year. This celebration aims to increase people’s awareness on the urgency and importance of various population issues such as family planning, reproductive health, gender equality, poverty, maternal and child health and human rights. This year’s theme is aptly dubbed as “Family Planning is a Human Right”.

This annual commemoration began in July 11, 1987, known as the “Five Billion Day”, when the world’s population reached 5 billion. As of July 2018, it has now reached 7.6 billion worldwide. Meanwhile, the Philippines has over 100 million total population, with Davao Region at 4.8 M, based on the 2015 Population Census by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

2018 is also a significant event for it marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, dubbed as the Tehran Proclamation, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Tehran Proclamation states that, “parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”

In view of this annual celebration, the United Nations (UN) has identified the nine (9) standards in upholding the human right to family planning: (1) Non-discrimination: Family planning information and services cannot be restricted on the basis of race, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, national origin, age, economic status, place of residence, disability status, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity; (2) and (3) Available and Accessible: Countries must ensure that family planning

commodities and services are accessible to everyone; (4) Acceptable: Contraceptive services and information must be provided in a dignified manner, respecting both modern medical ethics and the cultures of those being accommodated; (5) Good quality: Family planning information must be clearly communicated and scientifically accurate; (6) Informed decision-making: Every person must be empowered to make reproductive choices with full autonomy, free of pressure, coercion or misrepresentation; (7) Privacy and confidentiality: All individuals must enjoy the right to privacy when seeking family planning information and services; (8) Participation: Countries have an obligation to ensure the active and informed participation of individuals in decisions that affect them, including health issues; and (9) Accountability: Health systems, education systems, leaders and policymakers must be accountable to the people they serve in all efforts to realize the human right to family planning.

In 2017 until June 2018, the Commission on Population – Region XI has referred/served 29,578 clients who have unmet needs for family planning. POPCOM-Region XI and program partners have also conducted 29,410 Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) classes to 298,891 4Ps and non-4Ps recipients thru conduct of Family Development Sessions (FDS), house-to-house visitation, Usapan Serye, Pre-marriage Counselling and other demand-generation activities.