RPM: New gov’t thrust on population management PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 June 2013 11:33

The National Government, through the Commission on Population, has embarked on a campaign to bring to the grassroots level a government program that it feels the people need and want in order to attain their dreams and that of their families’. This is the Responsible Parenting Movement or RPM.

The Responsible Parenting Movement is a community-based organization of parents who embrace  responsible parenting.  Since most couples with unmet need for family planning are the poor, uneducated, and rural dwellers, the government decided to bring the program down to the barangay level, targeting the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps beneficiaries. The objective of RPM is to empower Filipino families by making couples aware of their basic responsibilities as parents, awakening in them a sense of commitment towards their family, neighbors, community, society, and the nation; and considering responsible parenting as a way of life towards the attainment of sustainable human development

As a matter of policy, responsible parenting is anchored on several provisions of the 1987 Constitution, particularly Article XV Section 3.1 and Article II Sections 9, 12, 14, and 16. These constitutional provisions give couples the responsibility to decide on their family size in accordance with their religious beliefs and the demands of responsible parenting.

Parenting defined as the skills, experiences, abilities, and responsibilities involved in rearing and educating a child, is also the ability of parents to respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and their children. Parenthood is defined as the state of being a parent.  Traditionally, it means being a father or mother of a child.  However, in case of an adoption, the legal aspect of parenthood becomes even more important since children who are adopted are strongly protected by our civil laws.  Modern medical science has also given us the so-called “in vitro fertilization” and this is redefining the social and legal meaning of the word “parenthood.”

Responsible parenting is the decision couples make to ensure the best possible life for the family and the community they belong to.  Thus, families raised by responsible parents are assets to their communities and the country as well.  The goal of Responsible Parenting Movement is to organize a group of parents who take on responsible parenting as a way of life.  This group of parents is organized at the community level as a “class.”  It is called as such because a class undergoes an orientation on the concepts and values of responsible parenting during an RPM class implemented by the Commission on Population.  After “graduation”, the members of the RPM class visit one another in their homes to follow up on their progress on the use of family planning method of their choice or to affirm support for responsible parenting.  Later, the classes conglomerate to a federation. A federated RPM is then registered and supported by the Commission on Population in their quest for a sustainable livelihood project or any service-oriented activity that benefits the entire community.

At Barangay Tetuan in Zamboanga City, at least two RPM Federations held their simultaneous Mass Induction of officers and members at Formation Center of San Ignacio de Loyola Parish last April 19, 2013. Spearheaded by City Population Officer Cristina Arevalo and POPCOM 9 Regional Director Reynaldo O. Wong, Ralph A. Ruivivar, Mary Edna Covarrubias, Cleofe Castante, and Dolly Cabbarubias, the activity paved the way for the forging of an agreement between the Barangay Tetuan executives and RPM Federation members to rid Barangay Tetuan of unsightly and illegally disposed garbage.

In a bid to sustain RPM Federations all over Zamboanga Peninsula, the Commission on Population Regional Office No. IX will train key federation officers and barangay officials on participatory approaches in organizing viable community development plans along the aspects of disaster risk reduction management, population and development integration and sustainable livelihood campaign. The training program dubbed COPAR will initially target three barangays in Zamboanga City, namely, Lumayang, and Lumbangan or Lunzuran.