FPOP was born on August 4, 1969 out of the merger of two organizations that pioneered the family planning movement in the country—the Family Planning Association of the Philippines (FPAP) and the Planned Parenthood Movement of the Philippines (PPMP). The merger was born out of a common desire by these two organizations to make family planning more accessible to Filipinos.
For over 50 years, FPOP has not wavered in its desire to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos. From its founding leaders Dr. Gregorio G. Lim (FPAP) and Dr. Jose B. Catindig (PPMP) to the leaders, volunteers and staff who came after them, FPOP has emerged to become the leading reproductive health care service provider and SRHR advocate in the country today.
The Pioneering Years 1969-1979
- August 4, 1969: registration of FPOP with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, with Dr. Ruben Apelo as first President.
- November 1969: FPOP became a full-pledged member of IPPF.
- December 8, 1969: declaration of President Ferdinand Marcos of a National Policy on Family Planning that led to the establishment of the Commission on Population on May 15, 1970. This came about as an outcome of the strong lobby work made by FPOP’s predecessors, the FPAP and PPMP, and other family planning advocates.
- FPOP’s Division of Information, Education and Training was recognized as a training institution offering basic and comprehensive family planning courses for service providers (doctors, nurses and midwives) from private, NGO-run and government clinics at the national and local levels.
- 1970-1976: FPOP, through the AGRO-CHO Project funded by USAID, trained the personnel of and established FP clinics in 50 agro-industrial companies and 139 City Health Offices.
- 1970-1979: the Medical Services Division conducted clinical studies (Phase 2 of clinical trials on oral contraceptives Gynera, Femovan and Marvelon, Lippe’s Loop and Copper IUDs, injectables-DMPA and Noristerat/Net-EN).
- 1973-1989: implementation of a National Program on Sterilization that went into full swing with the creation of the Itinerant Teaching Team (ITT). This program expanded FPOP’s reach because it increased the number of physicians trained in male and female sterilization procedures such as laparoscopy, transvaginal tubal ligation and vasectomy.
- 1975: holding of the First National Youth Leaders’ Consultation Workshop on Population and Family Planning
- 1975-1980: FP became available to rural communities through an integrated, community-based program, the “Operation Magdamayan.” From a general target of urban-based couples, FPOP delimited its target to rural couples, out-of-school youth and males. Core couples, youth leaders and community-based distributors of contraceptives were trained to conduct information and education campaign and provide FP services. The program was turned over to barangay officials in 1980.
- 1975-1976: the Barangay Family Planning Program, an Operation Magdamayan type of program, was implemented in six provinces. It became the forerunner of the ‘POPCOM Outreach Program”.
- 1976: start of FP/Parasite Control Project funded by JOICFP and APCO
- 1977: expansion of the POPCOM and IPAVS funded Itinerant Teaching and Service Team with the establishment of regional training and service teams. Tubal ligation shifted to Minilaparotomy.
- 1977: the Botika sa Nayon Project initiated the study on the feasibility and viability of selling essential drugs including contraceptives through a community-managed “Botika sa Nayon” in Barrio Tondod, Nueva Ecija.
- 1978: Muslim Consultative Conference in Zamboanga and Cotabato
- 1978-1979: Women’s Development through FP Program
- 1978: FPOP purchased the building in 50 Doña Hemady in New Manila, Quezon City, which triggered an organizational crisis. IPPF questioned the purchase of the building and terminated its funding to FPOP. This resulted in the mass termination of staff. FPOP continued with a scaled down operation with a number of staff working even without salaries. Negotiations with IPPF by FPOP’s Governing Board and “Volunteer Staff” resulted in organizational changes that brought about normalcy in operations.
- 1979: Drivers and Stevedores in FP/Tricycle Drivers FP-IEC Outreach for Vasectomy
Reinventing FPOP/The Tumultuous Years for the Philippine Population and Family Planning Program 1980-1989
- 1980: FPOP turned over the supervision of the Magdamayan program to barangay leaders.
- 1981: the Rationalization Exercise that started in 1979 resulted in changes in the organizational structure of FPOP, this time affecting the chapters and resulting in the merging of smaller (municipal and city chapters) with Provincial Chapters and closure of some chapters.
- 1982: implementation of the Adolescent Sexuality Education Project initiated by the Manila Chapter expanded to Bulacan and Pangasinan
- FPOP was initially designated as conduit for NGO funding from USAID and USAID contracted agencies for FP programs and acted as alternative to POPCOM. FPOP later organized the PNGOC to handle the task. This move later turned out to be a mistake because PNGOC incorporated itself, which led FPOP to break away from the group.
- 1989: IPAVS Regional Workshop on Counseling on Vasectomy introduced the “No Scalpel Vasectomy.”
- Women in Development continued.
- The fall of the Marcos regime and the ascendance of the Cory administration in 1986 brought about the initial decline of the Philippine Population Program. This occurred when then POPCOM Chairperson and DSWD Secretary Dr. Mamita Pardo de Tavera refused to sign the funding agreement with USAID for the Family Planning Program.
The Reproductive Health Framework vs. NFP Only Policy 2000-2009
- POP was one of the pioneers in the organization of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) at the national and local levels, and led the fight for national and local policies on reproductive health—Reproductive Health bills, Local RH codes in cities, municipalities and provinces
- The Philippine Government developed its own reproductive health framework in response to the ICPD call for action in 1994.
- The Philippines became a signatory to the international commitment of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
- 2001-2003: under the leadership of President Joseph Estrada and DOH Secretary Alberto Romualdez, DOH issued the National FP Policy through Administrative No. 50A Series of 2001, which refocused the Philippine Family Planning Program from being demographically-oriented to one that promotes FP as an intervention that will help improve the health of Filipinos especially the women and children.
- 2004: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo adopted the Policy on Responsible Parenthood that favored modern NFP over modern methods, reversing the gains spawned by the previous national administration. This triggered a renewed campaign for a national policy through a reproductive health bill.
- 2004: government adopted the Contraceptive Reliance Strategy that led to the phase-down of USAID’s contraceptive donations to the Philippines (pills, IUD, Condom and injectables). The President also declared that the national government will not spend money for purchases of contraceptives. The burden of purchasing contraceptives was passed on to local governments.