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In the wake of commitments made by the Philippines at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a multi-year partnership for 2019-2023. This partnership aims to strengthen the government’s efforts towards a demographic dividend, by which the Philippines’ economy benefits from a bigger, healthier working population with fewer dependents in years to come.

Population-related policies and investments are key instruments of sustainable development enshrined in the International Conference on Population and Development  (ICPD) Programme of Action, signed by 179 countries in 1994. It set a call for all countries to invest on young people, strengthening policies that improve their reproductive health and stimulate education and employment opportunities. This empowers young people to become productive contributors to their countries’ socio-economic development. The ICPD Programme of Action also recognizes that the empowerment of women and girls are intertwined with the effective exercise of their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, and therefore urges countries to address gaps in both areas.

25 years on, the global community renewed commitments on the unfinished work of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights and gender equality at ICPD25. Upon return from making pledges at this global summit, POPCOM and the UNFPA formalized their partnership with the MoU, signed at the Rafael M. Salas Conference Room at POPCOM’s Mandaluyong City office. It is full circle for both organizations, as Mr. Salas was instrumental in establishing POPCOM 50 years ago, just a few months before becoming the UNFPA’s first Executive Director upon its founding. “Mr. Population”, as he was fondly called, was a pioneering advocate for demographic policy-making that recognizes critical links between development, population growth, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Since then, the country has seen both organizations work together to improve Filipino lives, in line with the ICPD’s objectives.

“POPCOM values its partnership with UNFPA, as both are at the forefront of the country’s efforts to ensure a demographic dividend, given the necessary attention some issues around it deserve,” said Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, POPCOM’s Executive Director and Undersecretary for Population and Development. “Through joint effort, we will see the Philippines Development Plan 2017-2022 through. With this agreement, we are committed to work together in implementing a National Action Plan that realizes the objectives of long-term sustainable development, through 2040 and beyond.”v

Not only does the MoU aim at reaping a demographic dividend, it fosters partnerships in strengthening the national family planning programme, to include working with the business sector; and working with Indonesia and other countries, through the South-South cooperation initiative, to implement the reproductive health and youth development programmes of the newly established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“The UNFPA sees this agreement with POPCOM as one of the foundations for achieving success in priority initiatives outlined in its new 8th Country Programme for the Philippines 2019-2023,” said Mr. Iori Kato, UNFPA Country Representative. “With this collaboration, the UNFPA intends to support the government’s efforts to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights, not only as an important health issue, but as an essential poverty alleviation strategy, in line with the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to leave no one behind.”



Contact Person: Susan Codotco

Tel.No. 531-6897

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Mobile No.: 0916-3365304



Press Release No. IMCD–PR-019–07-011

Release Date: November 26, 2019


Vicente B. Jurlano

UNFPA National Program Officer for Population and Development

Tel:  +63 917 8594263