MAGDALENA G. ABELLERA
February 19, 2018
Empowering Filipino families to achieve national aspirations
The Commission on Population celebrates its 49th Anniversary today February 19, 2018 adopting the theme, [email protected]: Tungo sa Matatag, Maginhawa, at Planadong Pamilyang Pilipino. The theme is anchored in the agency’s thrust to contribute to the realization of the national aspirations dubbed “Ambisyon Natin 2040”.
The Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) within the Duterte Administration is aimed at building and nurturing “Matatag, Maginhawa, at Planadong Pamilyang Pilipino.” The PPMP enables families to have their desired number and spacing of children within the demands of responsible parenthood and principles of informed choice. If every Filipino family becomes well-planned, they will have greater opportunity and capacity to invest for the well-being and development of each family member. Each Filipino will then become a more empowered human resource.
To have empowered and well-planned families requires strategic interventions that can effectively address the prevailing population issues in the country. The estimated 104 Million (as of February 2018) Filipinos continues to increase due to high unintended pregnancies among women resulting to high fertility level. This high fertility especially among poor women is mainly because of the low level of access to family planning and other reproductive health information and services. High unmet need for modern family planning prevails especially among women in poor socioeconomic conditions. As poor women continue to have high fertility due to unintended pregnancies, inter-generational poverty will likely continue.
Filipino women intend to have two children but actually give birth to three. Poor and uneducated women continue to have the highest unintended births with two children difference between the actual children (5) and desired children (3). Bicolano women, on the other hand, give birth to four children but only wanted to have two.
The percentage of adolescents in Bicol who have engaged in premarital sex increased from 17.1 in 1994 to 25.4 in 2013 (YAFS 4). The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reveals that there were 12,719 births by teen mothers in 2014 in the region.
Women belonging to lowest wealth quintile have only 33% modern contraceptive prevalence rate and a high 21% unmet need for family planning (FP). Unmet need for FP are those intending to limit or space their children but are not using any family planning method. Only 16% of women without education are using modern family planning methods (NDHS 2013). A high 24% have expressed unmet need for family planning. The Bicol region is the second highest in the country when it comes to unmet need with a total estimate of 25.1% (NDHS 2013).
Within the backdrop of these prevailing population issues, the PPMP will be pursued to empower Filipino families and communities. This is envisioned as a critical factor in attaining Ambisyon Natin 2040 and the key thrusts of the Philippine Health Agenda (PHA), particularly the achievement of zero unmet need for modern family planning.
In 2017, POPCOM-V have reached 84, 632 couples through the conduct of 7, 816 demand generation classes such as responsible parenthood and family planning (RPFP) classes in DSWD’s Family Development Sessions (FDS), pre-marriage counseling, mothers’ class, USAPAN series and KATROPA. POPCOM-V also referred 172, 408 couples for family planning services.
As part of the anniversary celebration, the agency conducts film showing of Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) to the youth evacuees at their temporary shelters and distributes IEC materials on RPFP for couples. All these mentioned activities are regularly conducted to contribute to the achievement of the zero unmet need for modern family planning.
January 2, 2018
(POPCOM Central Office)
Philippine workforce grows at second highest rate in population
107 Million Filipinos by end-2018
The Philippine population will continue to increase throughout 2018 and is projected to reach around 107,190,081 by Dec. 31, 2018, based on projections made by the Commission on Population using the latest population census of 2015 (Philippine Statistics Authority).
A noticeable increase will also be among women of reproductive age. By the end of 2018, there will be around 27,713,110 women of reproductive age (aged 15-49), an increase of over 400,000 from the previous year’s projection. These women are usually the beneficiaries of Reproductive Health services under the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health law. With the increasing trend of pregnancies among 10-14 year-old girls, the number of women and girls of reproductive age would be 33,114,606 (30.5% of the population).
Adolescent girls 10-19 years old next year will increase to 10,697,289. While there is an increase in absolute numbers, the percentage of adolescents in the population is projected to decline to 9.42% for girls 10-19 (from 9.53% in 2017).
Throughout the estimated population age structure (see population pyramid attached), the younger age groups are declining in percentage share compared to 2017 projections: 0-4, 0-14, 10-19 and 15-49). The steepest declines will be seen in the 0-14 (0.30 % decline) and 10-19 (0.23 % decline).
The 15-64 age group increased by .16% from 63.72% to 63.88%. This means that there will be an increasing workforce and older persons, as well as a decreasing population under 14. This leads to fewer children being born providing an opportunity for demographic dividend which the government can capitalize on.
On the other hand, the age group over 60 continues to grow by almost fourth of a percentage (0.23%) over 2017 projections. By year-end 2018 there will be 8,013,059 Filipinos over 60, constituting 8.2% of Filipinos. Of this group, 5,082,049 will be 65 and older. Most countries are considered aging if they have at least 7% of the population over 65 years old.
The figures for women of reproductive age and adolescent girls continue to be the highest numbers on record, even with their decline in percentage of the total population.
“Based on the above projections, the Philippine population will increase by 1.8 million by the end of 2018, growing at a rate of 1.69 percent,” Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III stated.
“That means we will be adding 4,965 Filipinos per day, or 206 every hour in 2018,” Perez continued.
The estimations made by the Commission on Population for 2018 are based on the Philippine Census of Population in 2015 (PSA), using geometric method.
November 14, 2017
FDA deems contraceptives cannot cause abotion, RPRH implemention to be fast-tracked
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled out that the 51 contraceptives including the subdermal implants Implanon and Implanon NXT are non-abortifacient through the issuance of FDA Resolution 2017-302 released last November 10.
This action was done in compliance with the Supreme Court ruling which orders the FDA to determine abortifacient or non-abortifacient properties of the contraceptives. The result means that 29-month old Supreme Court Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) dated June 2015 is now effectively lifted. The lifting of the TRO will allow the full implementation of the RPRH Law.
“The Commission on Population appreciates the diligence of the Food and Drugs Administration in completing and approving the recertification of 51 contraceptives. This could not have come at a better time as depleted contraceptive supplies will now be augmented by over two hundred thousand implants. Annually, one million women become new acceptors of modern family planning methods, “Dr. Juan A Perez III, Executive Director of the Commission on Population (POPCOM) declared.
The FDA resolution marks the full effectivity of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the RPRH Law published two weeks ago.
Some of the notable revisions of the IRR are the deletion of the qualifier “primarily” in defining abortifacients and contraceptives and the reiteration that written parental consent for minors is needed to be able to access contraceptives even if the minor is already a parent or has had a miscarriage. The revised IRR also states that any health care service provider who fails and or refuses to disseminate information regarding programs and services on reproductive health because of his or her religious beliefs will not be punished provided he/she complied with the requirements as evidence of his/her beliefs.
“The FDA showing that the 51 contraceptives are safe means a lot to women and their health. The lifting of the TRO enables the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) and other local implementation teams of the RPRH Law and its partners to accelerate its mechanisms to make up for the time when the law could not be implemented.” said POPCOM-V Director Magdalena G. Abellera.
She also disclosed that the lifting of the TRO would allow the health department to start procuring commodities using its 2017 budget.
The FDA declaration is also timely for the celebration of the Population and Development (POPDEV) Week on November 23-29 echoing this year’s theme, ‘Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations’.
November 3, 2017
POPCOM gears up POPDEV Week Celebration
The Commission on Population is set to observe the Population and Development (POPDEV) Week this November 23-29, 2017.
POPDEV Week is observed annually during the third week of November particularly during the 23rd to 29th to raise awareness and draw policy and program responses from various stakeholders on various population and development issues. This year’s theme focuses on the “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.”
Population is a vital determinant of a country’s development. The Philippines reached the 100 million population mark in 2014 which made the country the fastest growing Southeast Asian nation. By August 2015, the country’s population is at 100,981,437 million. (PSA, 2015) The 2015 Population Census also showed that the country met a slight decrease in population growth rate by a few points with 1.72 percent in 2010-2015 reference period compared to 1.90 percent in 2000-2010.
The Philippine population will continue to increase in 2017 and is projected to reach 105,758,850 by December 31, 2017, based on projections made by the Commission on Population (POPCOM) using data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Included in the projection are 27,293,422 women of reproductive age (aged 15-49). These women are usually the beneficiaries of Reproductive Health services under the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law. Adolescent girls 10-19 years old will also increase to 10,080,824 next year. Based on the most recent data from the PSA (2014), it is expected that over 200,000 adolescent girls will give birth in 2017.
An increasing population means that the country has a huge labor force but it might also mean more people going after limited opportunities and services.
The agency helps address this problem by strengthening its implementation of the Responsible Parenthood – Family Planning (RP-FP) program by conducting Pre-Marriage Counseling (PMC) and RP-FP classes in the family development sessions of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The agency also links information to service delivery to teen parents and conducts information education and communication advocacy campaigns to increase awareness.
The mentioned activities are done to address unmet need for family planning in the country as mandated by Executive Order (EO) No. 12 (Attaining and Sustaining “Zero Unmet Need” for Modern Family Planning) signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on January 9, 2017 and recognizes the need to address the unmet need for any modern method of contraception and to prevent unplanned and mistimed pregnancies and childbirth and the long-term socio-economic implications.
This year’s celebration will highlight the accomplishments of the stakeholders during the Population Congress to be held on November 29, 2017 in Legazpi City. The congress features the Recognition of Best Performing Population Officers, Awarding of Regional Winners of the Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) Short Film Making Contest and a press conference.