POPCOM maximizes digital platforms to break down barriers between parents, children

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) continued its advocacy of promoting and enhancing interactions among Filipino parents and their teenagers in this year’s observance of National Family Week.

On September 21, POPCOM hosted a parent-teen talk webinar via Zoom, where an interactive program provided appropriate information and skills to parents, as well as gave tips on enabling their adolescent children to reach their full potential. It also encouraged mothers and fathers to engage in open discussions, especially about topics on sex and sexuality, which are seen to help prevent incidences of pregnancy among the youth.

The webinar may be viewed via POPCOM’s official YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/lZ9jrJCjYas.

Regarding the virtual webinar, Undersecretary Juan Antonio A. Perez III, MD, MPH commented that it served both as a catalyst and conduit of conversations among heads of families and their kids: “Parents, for one, were armed with valuable insights in initiating dialogues on subjects that might cause shame or embarrassment at the onset, while youngsters gained confidence in freely relating and opening up to their folks.”

“This year’s National Family Week theme is embedded in POPCOM’s vision of a progressive nation founded on stable, comfortable and planned Filipino families, or ‘matatag, maginhawa at planadong pamilyang Pilipino,’” said POPCOM’s executive director. “With our online platforms, we find ways to still create meaningful connections between parents or guardians and their adolescent children, especially as we spend more time indoors because of the Covid-19 contagion.”

Better communications: In-line with the celebration’s sub-theme, which is “Pamilya At Teknolohiya: Magkabalikat Na Mapagtagumpayan Ang Hamon Ng Pandemya (Families and Technology: Together Triumphant over the Travails of the Pandemic),” the POPCOM chief believes similar initiatives can increase the level of communications between generations, especially at this time that the entire country is dealing with a pandemic.

“Now is the best chance for families to forge stronger ties as we are in the confines of our homes. By doing so, we eliminate barriers in intergenerational communication that can threaten our youth, such as early and unplanned pregnancies,” explained Perez. “With digital technology bridging distances and opening communication pathways unfamiliar to parents such as online-based learning, web-based knowledge platforms will give parents another means to catch up technologically that can fortify family relations.”

As it is the agency’s task to assist them in every way possible, the POPCOM chief emphasized that exemplary families should be recognized beyond the yearly celebrations.  He shared that the National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF), in which POPCOM has been a member since last year, will develop programs focusing on inspiring excellence within the basic units of Filipino society.

Connected, strong families: Being undersecretary for population and development or POPDEV, Perez also pointed out that the thrust of this year’s National Family Week is in sync with the government’s Ambisyon 2040 goals of Filipinos enjoying “a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life,” where families are the foundation of a “high-trust society, with a strong sense of community.”

POPCOM is a lead agency, together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development as well as the NCFF, in the implementation of this year’s National Family Week from September 20 to 25, with Pasig City as host local government unit. Proclamation No. 60 issued in 1992 promulgates the declaration of the last week of September every year as “Family Week.” (PR)

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