Lumad women in Davao City given free contraceptive implants

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/17 February) — Indigenous peoples in the city’s uplands who are beneficiaries of government’s conditional cash transfer program are among those that have availed of the contraceptive Implanon, a health official said Monday.

Assistant City Health Officer Samuel Cruz said in an interview they have at least 1,000 available units of Implanon monthly.

He said each Implanon unit costs from P10,000 to P15,000 in the market but the CHO is giving it for free. He added they will hold regular sessions for women who wish to avail of the product.

Priscilla Razon, Department of Social Welfare and Development regional director said at the Kapehan sa SM Monday that 8,000 indigenous peoples in Marilog, Paquibato and Baguio districts have availed of the modified conditional cash transfer program.

Razon, however, said she could not give as yet the exact number of Lumad women who are using the contraceptive but confirmed it was the DSWD that helped identify the beneficiaries.

Non-Lumad women who are beneficiaries of the cash transfer program have also availed of free Implanon units, she added.

The city has partnered with the DSWD in distributing the contraceptive to poor beneficiaries through its Listahanan program.

Implanon prevents pregnancy up to three years and has been approved by the World Health Organization.

Cruz said the distribution of the contraceptive is based on the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, or Republic Act 10583, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III in 2012.

He said distribution of the contraceptive is assured at least until the end of the Aquino administration in 2016.

He said the CHO has trained its doctors to administer the non-intrusive drug.

Implanon is a 68mg etonogestrel rod-shaped implant that is inserted in the arm.

Cruz also said the CHO was planning to include non-indigents in its distribution of Implanon. (MindaNews)