President Aquino receives UN official in Malacanang

May 17, 2012 10:27 pm 

MANILA, May 17 — Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), paid a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in Malacanang on Thursday to convey his support to the government’s population management program.

Dr. Osotimehin is visiting the country from May 17 to 19 to meet with stakeholders to mobilize support for the country to achieve its targets for the Millennium Development Goal 5 with three years left to the 2015 deadline.

During his meeting with the President, Dr. Osotimehin expressed the continued support of UNFPA to the Philippine government’s goal of improving the lives of Filipinos through a population management strategy that includes responsible parenthood and informed choices.

The UNFPA head is also scheduled to meet with ambassadors from the UN donor countries and international development agencies to secure their commitment for the attainment of MDG 5, which is least likely to be achieved by the Philippines by 2015.

He will also meet key members of the Cabinet, civil society organizations, youth leaders and legislators, and visit the survivors of typhoon "Sendong" who remain in tent cities in Cagayan de Oro.

Dr. Osotimehin’s visit coincides with UNFPA’s celebration of its 40-year presence in the country, supporting the government in its efforts to enable Filipinos to exercise their right to reproductive health.

UNFPA has been in the Philippines since 1969 with the first UNFPA Country Programme of Assistance starting in 1972.

From 1972 to 2011, UNFPA has invested some P6.2 billion to support government’s poverty reduction programs that include family planning, safe motherhood, gender equality, and population and development.

For the current 7th Country Programme which started this year and ending in 2016, around P1.2 billion has been raised, with the possibility of more funds to be mobilized.

Aside from the Philippines, Dr. Osotimehin is also visiting South Korea, Thailand and China as part of his Asian tour.

With Dr. Osotimehin were UNFPA Representative to the Philippines Ugochi Florence Daniels, and UNFPA chief of staff Delia Barcelona.

Cabinet officials who joined the President include Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, Health Secretary Enrique Ona, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Presidential Assistant for Muslim Concerns Undersecretary Yasmin Busran-Lao. (PNA) scs/PCOO/ssc

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