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    069179

    Interview: Mr. George Walmsley: UNFPA Country Director for the Philippines.

    ASIA-PACIFIC POPIN BULLETIN. 1991 Jun; 3(2):7-11.

    George Walmsley, UNFPA country director for the Philippines, discusses demographic and economic conditions in the Philippines, and present plans to revitalize the national population program after 20 years of only modest achievements. The Philippines is a rapidly growing country with much poverty, unemployment and underemployment, uneven population distribution, and a large, highly dependent segment of children and youths under age 15. Initial thrusts of the population program were in favor of fertility reduction, ultimately changing to adopt a perspective more attuned to promoting overall family welfare. Concurrent with this change also came a shift from a clinic-based to community-based approach. Fertility declines have nonetheless grown weaker over the past 8-10 years. A large gap exists between family planning knowledge and practice, with contraceptive prevalence rates declining from 45% in 1986 to 36% in 1988. Behind this lackluster performance are a lack of consistent political support, discontinuities in program implementation, a lack of coordination among participating agencies, and obstacles to program implementation at the field level. The present government considers the revitalization of this program a priority concern. Mr. Walmsley discusses UNFPA's definition of a priority country, and what that means for the Philippines in terms of resources nd future activities. He further responds to questions about the expected effect of the Catholic church upon program implementation and success, non-governmental organization involvement, the role of information and information systems in the program, the relationship between population, environment and sustainable development, and the status of women and its effect on population.
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