By Rodrigo S. Victoria

Naval, Biliran (15 December) — They are on the other side of the crusade to curb the ballooning and still growing population of the country where their only arms are their knowledge and experience how to keep a manageable number of family members.

In a province with a manageable annual population growth rate of.93 based on the 2007 Census of Population conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) last August 2007, Pakibanay, a group of married women based in the capital town of Biliran province, started their advocacy on how to keep control of the population growth rate using the different methods of natural family planning to men and women who are about to enter married life.

Based on the August 2007 Census on Population of NSO, the following are the annual population growth rate in the eight municipalities in Biliran province: Almeria -.55, Biliran -1.09, Cabucgayan -.84, Caibiran -..69, Culaba – -.67, Kawayan – 1.17, Maripipi – -2.46 and Naval – 2.14.

According to Eliza S. Mendoza, a health worker of the Rural Health Unit in Naval and at the same time an advocate of natural family planning, Pakibanay is assisted by Franciscan Sisters Pro Infante Et Familia, a religious organization based in Naval serving the medical and health needs of the indigent members in the community aside from its regular religious services in the community. The organization also extends some livelihood assistance to farmers as well as financial assistance to the underprivileged group in need of it.

The group conducted one – day seminar to upcoming married couples, walk-in clients and those interested individuals in the community who want to avail of lectures pertaining to natural family planning, responsible parenthood and inculcation of good and desirable Filipino family values before getting married at the Pro-Infante Center located in Naval, Mendoza said.

She added that the group who already existed for quite a time in Naval has helped inform soon-to- marry couples on natural family planning methods like the Lactating Amenoria Method (LAM), mucus method, basal body temperature, sympto-thermal and other natural family planning methods practiced by couple in the community.

Mendoza informed that the group complimented in promoting the government program on family planning in their own way in the countryside and it is gaining ground and is well-accepted by people in the community (PIA-Biliran)

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