The Department of Health, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Population Development (POPCOM), and National Youth Commission (NYC), with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Australian Government, and Plan International launched the Oky Philippines Period Tracker App, an application made for and by Filipinos girls to provide young Filipinos with accurate and trustworthy information about menstrual health.

The app was launched on May, 26, 2023, through the event, “Oky for you, Oky for Me: Say hello to the period tracker app for Filipino girls, by Filipino girls,” where issues about menstrual health and hygiene management were demonstrated.

According to DepEd, 8 out of 10 public schools provided access to sanitary pads to girls during the school year 2020-2021 – a marked increase from 2017-2018, when only 60% of public schools provided menstrual hygiene  products. While the improved  access to menstrual hygiene products in schools is remarkable, menstruation and sexual reproductive health rights remain sensitive topics for discussion. More concerning is that myths and misconceptions about menstrual health proliferate on social media – hindering girls’ access to important information critical to understanding their right to reproductive health.

In localizing the app, the team consulted with girls living in different contexts in the Philippines, including indigenous peoples, out-of-school children, and children with disabilities. The results from the talks underwent vetting by adolescent health experts from government agencies and development organizations. Oky Philippines also includes content relevant to the Islamic culture, co-created with adolescents in the Bangsamoro region.

Further, the Australian Government also provided support for the localization of the app in the Philippines as part of its AUD 48 million Indo-Pacific Sexual Reproductive Health and rights COVID-19 Surge Response. The program supports the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.

“The Department of Health prioritizes adolescent sexual reproductive health in our programs and campaigns. We recognize the need of adolescent girls to access accurate information about their  menstrual health. We are happy to have the Oky Philippines app as a new digital platform that can help them make informed, healthy choices for themselves. By ensuring the health of our adolescents, we take one step closer to achieving a Healthy Pilipinas,” said OIC Secretary Dr. Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

Oky Philippines is free to download from Google Play Store. The app will be available in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.