Philippines population seen to hit 104M
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s population is projected to increase to 104 million this year as 1.5 million babies are expected to be born, the Commission on Population (PopCom) said yesterday.

“The Philippines’ population is 102.4 million at the end of 2015. But this year, it is expected to increase to 104 million,” PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III told The STAR.

Perez noted the country’s fertility rate, which pertains to the “number of children that a woman wants to have in her lifetime,” had historically been going down. From 1.9 in 2010, it became 1.7 in 2015. 

“We’ll see if it goes below 1.7 (this year).  That means people are choosing to have less children more quickly. That can be attributed to economic situation,” he added.

Women usually want to have two to three children, while men aspire to have three to four. 

But according to Perez, the increase in the population is driven primarily by 23 million women aged 15 to 49 who are of reproductive age.

Perez said in five to 10 years, the country will probably have the “biggest number of women of reproductive age that we will ever see, at 25 to 30 million.”

“We have many five- to 10-year-old girls who are going reproductive in the next five years. We cannot do anything about that. So what we are trying to do is reduce their need for services,” he added.

PopCom has various education and information programs about reproductive health and responsible parenthood. The agency also provides both natural and artificial methods of family planning.

“We should be able to provide what women need, what they think is good for them. We also try to involve the men in reproductive health,” Perez said.

Based on PopCom data, the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) for modern family planning increased by three percent to 46 percent in 2013 to 2014. 

This is the second year of increased CPR, with an increase of 39 percent in 2012 to 43 percent in 2013.

This seven-percent increase in the last two years also represents a 1.4 million increase in the number of women practicing modern family planning. It is now pegged at nine million.

To effectively reduce the unmet needs for modern family planning, CPR must rise to at least 65 percent, which requires providing services for another five million couples or individuals.

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