The humble beginnings of the Forum for Family Planning and Development Inc.(The Forum) started with a meeting of like-minded people in early 2004 who believed that there is a need to take bold steps to elevate the family planning and development concerns to a much higher level . This was intended to attract key stakeholders who are just waiting for an influential group to spearhead the movement.
The core group of individuals who acted as the prime movers of The Forum did not hesistate to call on other champions and leaders of the program, including key organizations that had been at the forefront of the population and family planning program. What resulted was a select group of Trustees and Advisers whose combined expertise and experiences are unparalleled in the history of the population program.
Thus, The Forum was registered and operates as a non-strock, non-government association composed of experts, well-known personalities, as well as population, reproductive health and famiy planning supporters who are highly committed and motivated to spearhead a program for the convergence of activities and efforts towards a highly effective population program. It does not compete with existing alliances and networks. Instead, it will focus on working with internaitonal linkages alongside cross-sectoral, natinal and local individuals and programs.
The Forum has designed programs of action along the strategies, outlined above, to ensure that the dearth of information and services is sufficiently addressed and the lack is minimized.
It has mounted a two-pronged advocacy program: one that focuses on top-level decision-makers of academic institutions and chief executive officers (CEOs) of business and industry including labor organizations, the other that focuses on community leaders and influential persons, particularly the heads of volunteer and traditional organizations. The purpose of this program is to advocate for private sector leadership and resource generation.
It has endeavored to make issues relating to population management, health and family welfare an integral part of existing and future programs as well as initiatives of government and private sector.
It has designed and maintained a resource center for information services and capacity-building. The aim is to make this institution a center of excellence. In doing this, it collaborates and develops networks with private and public media centers in harnessing the talents and skills of media practitioners to promote the abovementioned issues.
The Forum is a leading voice in the adoption of a national policy on population management, health and family welfare and in the provision of universal access to information and service for all Filipinos especially the poor and the youth.
The Forum seeks the support of important and influential persons and decision-makers from the private and business sectors as well as academic community to make significant contributions – in terms of time and resources – towards generating a national policy on population management, health and family welfare.
It advocates key stakeholders to commit to the provision of information, advice and services to the underserved especially the poor and the young, by highlighting the benefits of population management, health and family welfare with respect to poverty alleviation, development and society’s well-being.
The specific issue that The Forum seeks to address is the acute dearth of information and services on population management, health and family welfare for the underserved population. While efforts had been made to solve this problem in the past, the ability to adequately and continuously meet this need is overtaken by yearly increase in population.
To resolve this critical issue, The Forum will bridge this information and service gaps among the poor as well as youth, on population management, health and family welfare in selected areas of the country within five years. This will be accomplished by enlisting the voluntary assistance of prominent people in the private and business sectors, as well as in the academe.
To achieve this goal The Forum proposes to carry out a three-pronged strategy:
First, it sets up a roster of well-known individuals to help program managers and implementers of population management, health and family welfare programs;
Second, it draws assistance from international, national and local organizations and appropriate agencies to support this roster of experts and its activities; and
Third, it develops youth and future community leaders by encouraging their participation in The Forum-initiated population management, health and family welfare through capacity-building and advocacy interventions including strategic leadership training and communication programs.
The Forum serves as a platform in the Philippines and in Asia where the best minds will debate and draw attention to these critical issues of population management, health and family welfare.