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Brenda Bernardo

Brenda Bernardo
Position: MUNICIPAL POPULATION OFFICER
Organization: MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT OF BALIWAG, BULACAN
Country of Origin:
Current Location:
Ms. Bernardo revolutionized the FP program in her municipality Baliwag, Bulacan in just a span of two years by establishing barangay population workers, spearheading innovative programs for family planning, and conducting fora and activities on RH. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Family Planning in our town was given the very least attention when I first came. As a nurse by profession, I saw the need to revolutionize the programs related to it through the conduct of massive information campaign that's gender sensitive and age appropriate among couples, the youth most especially those who got pregnant at a very early age. I have helped improve the conduct of Pre-Marriage Counselling on Family Planning to ensure that newly married couples will make right choices in planning their families. Also, I have developed our own IEC materials written in our local language. Lastly, I have established a group of Population workers that will aid to disseminate information regarding updates on Family Planning at the grassroots level.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My sister got pregnant at an early age. She has 2 kids now and they're struggling to provide for the family's needs. There were more stories of struggle from very young mothers at the grassroots. This led me to spearhead on family planning. The stigma on family planning has to take reform. I strive to make the youth and the adults alike to understand that family planning is meant to save lives and resources and not just a means to control the population, It teaches us one thing.RESPONSIBILITY.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Budget allocation for reproductive health and family planning programs as well as lack of cohesiveness of programs among partner agencies. To resolve this, my strategy was to create more programs to get the attention of the Local Chief Executive to allocate additional funds for my programs, Fortunately early this year, the Population Office received an additional funding which we now have used to buy family planning supplies, develop IEC materials and conduct more forums!

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Stigma from groups that oppose family planning. This has been a long global battle and various approaches are still being planned and some implemented. In my opinion, the respect on the opinions of other people must still be respected; however, massive information drives must still be continued while establishing end strengthening more educators among various sectors who will help bust myths and impart factual and age-appropriate information on FP.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I hope my plan to have an online consultation on reproductive health issues will materialize. This method would be more convenient and less invasive for all clients across ages. Also, in the next years, I am also hoping that I can establish a pool of men educators on family planning and more educators from the youth and LGBT communities to address sexuality and reproductive health, highlighting pressing issues on HIV and AIDS. A youth hub in our locality is also envisioned.

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