Of the 7,500 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago, only 2,000 are inhabited. As a result, Filipinos are highly fragmented geographically, with half of the population living in remote, rural, or hard-to-reach places.
Almost half of all Filipino women are of reproductive age, but only a third of them uses any method of modern contraception. This causes an already large population of more than 100 million to grow rapidly each year, affecting the sexual and reproductive health of Filipino women.
Maternal mortality is high, at 221 deaths per 100,000 live births, and while the unmet need for family planning is decreasing, it remains high, particularly among young women where teenage pregnancies are increasing.
From small beginnings, our programme in the Philippines, known locally as Population Services Pilipinas Incorporated, has grown steadily over 25 years to operate several strategically located clinics, an extensive outreach service and a network of 170 socially franchised midwives and birthing homes.
Through these channels, we offer a wide range of modern contraception, family planning counselling, STI screening, and maternal health services. We also work closely with vulnerable groups, such as young people, and actively advocate at community level for improving access to contraception and post-abortion care.
Mobile outreach teams conduct regular visits to over 28,900 areas across the country. These small teams focus on delivering voluntary long-acting and permanent contraceptive methods, which are otherwise not locally available.
Through this work, our team has forged successful partnerships with local-level government health authorities, collaborating closely with them to identify service delivery sites in high-need areas where government healthcare staff conduct contraceptive awareness raising ahead of our outreach team visits.
Among outreach clients last year, 83% were living on less than $2.50 per day – demonstrating the vital role that outreach plays in helping underserved women access reproductive choice in their community.