FPOP at the Forefront of Humanitarian Response
FPOP is perennially challenged on how to sustain its FP/SRH services for the poor and the vulnerable sectors who are also considered to be among the most at-risk population to the effects of the changing climate. When FPOP adopted and institutionalized the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health framework, the organization started to be known as an active actor among the leading CSOs with humanitarian program in the country.
MISP is a set of priority activities required to respond to the reproductive health needs of the population at the onset of every humanitarian crisis. During emergencies, FPOP works to ensure the five objectives of MISP for RH are met, these are: (1) Ensure an organization is identified to lead the implementation; (2) Prevent and manage the consequences of sexual violence; (3) Reduce HIV transmission; (4) Prevent maternal and newborn death and illnesses; and, (5) Plan for comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare, integrated into primary health care, as the situation permits.
The recent fast turn-over of personnel at the FPOP national office, has created negative impact on continuity for its humanitarian response program. National office personnel who were highly trained on MISP framework and earned high degree of actual experiences and exposure in delivering SRH services during the most challenging response period, have already left the institution. FPOP Chapter personnel who were also trained on MISP have not been updated with their skills after the new FPOP national office management during 2014-2015 period, no longer consider humanitarian response as a flagship program.
To address this challenge of upgrading the capacity and projecting FPOP again as an institution active in the delivery of SRH services through MISP during humanitarian response, the national office facilitated the MISP Refresher Exercise in May 25-26, 2016 to set up and reactivate FPOP’s National Emergency Response Team. All of the Chapter Program Managers were able to attend the activity which was funded by the SPRINT program of IPPF. Continuous Commitment to SRH in Emergencies
To be in the tract again at the national level, FPOP has re-connected with its partners in the humanitarian network, primarily with the office of the Health and Emergency Bureau (HEMB) of DOH and the UNFPA. FPOP initiated the advocacy to engage the local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs) of local government units or LGUS in Metro Manila. Its goal is to introduce the MISP framework as part of strengthening the preparedness capacities of DRRMCs.
Guided by this goal, FPOP was able to host the Dissemination Forum with HEMB-DOH, UNFPA, DSWD and DRRMC officers of some cities in Metro Manila in August 31, 2016. The forum paved the way for the forging of formal partnership among key government agencies tasked to institutionalize and implement MISP during emergencies.
Three months after the forum, a joint-Memorandum Order was declared in early December 2016 by the DOH, DILG, and DSWD for the said agencies to work together in cascading the MISP framework down to the local government unit (LGU) level. An RH Coordinating Team or RHCT was also formally organized composed of focal persons from the key government agencies and CSO representatives, including FPOP. The RCTC that will operate at the national level will also be replicated in the LGUs at the provincial and city levels.
MISP in Conflict Areas
The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines via its Cotabato chapter successfully commenced its implementation of the Minimal Initiative Service Package Reproductive Health Medical Mission (MISP-RHMM) to the geographically isolated and depressed areas (GIDA) of North Cotabato from October to December 2016. The project was able to reach out 7,995 beneficiaries through the conduct of RHMMs amid ongoing political and armed conflicts in the areas.
The 3-month IPPF-SPRINT supported project has mobilized also the active cooperation of the local government units of North Cotabato as well as local partner organizations like the Rotary Club and other community women’s groups. The primary beneficiaries of the project were the Moro People and the Lumad Indigenous communities of Arakan, Mlang, Pigcawayan, Aleosan, Midsayap, Matalam, Magpet, and Tulunan in the province of North Cotabato.