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Phl population expected to hit 97.7 million this year

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 3, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The country’s population is expected to reach 97.7 million this year due to the 1.7 to 1.8 million Filipino babies born every year, the Commission on Population (PopCom) said yesterday.

“This is just an unofficial estimate made by PopCom. Our population in 2010 was 92.3 million in absolute number. So based on that, we may estimate that by May 2013, our population will be 97.7 million,” said PopCom executive director Tomas Osias.

The National Statistical Coordination Board is the agency mandated to make an estimate of the Philippine population but it has not released a projection so far.

According to Osias, PopCom made the computation based on the annual population growth rate of 1.9 percent. This translates to some 1.7 million to 1.8 million babies being born every year.

Asked if the passage of Republic Act No. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 will slow down the country’s population growth, Osias refused to make the connection.

“The law does not have demographic targets,” he said.

Instead, the legislation will only empower couples, especially the women, to make an “informed choice about their reproductive health.”

Osias added that the law would just provide couples with access to services and information about family planning and their reproductive health.

“They will know that birth spacing will be good for the mother’s and the baby’s health. Because of that, they will evaluate their capability (to raise a family). So in the process, the number of the children will be based on the health and future of the family,” he said.

Osias maintained that there is no provision in the law that will mandate couples to limit the size of their family.

“You will not be told not to have a child anymore after two kids or something like that. There are no demographic or family size targets. What we are saying is, they will be the ones to determine what is good for the family in terms of health and the capacity to give the children a better future,” he added.

FAMILY HEALTH MILLION NATIONAL STATISTICAL COORDINATION BOARD OSIAS POPULATION REPUBLIC ACT NO RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT TOMAS OSIAS
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