Popcom wants to keep yearly population growth at around 1 million

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2022 01:24 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2022 03:25 PM

Health workers pass by as a pregnant woman and her companions as they wait for a ride home just outside the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila on Aug. 19, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File 
Health workers pass by as a pregnant woman and her companions as they wait for a ride home just outside the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Manila on Aug. 19, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File 

 MANILA — The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) said on Wednesday it aimed to keep the yearly population growth of the Philippines at around 1 million or 1 percent. 

The Philippine population grew by about 0.9 percent in 2020 and 0.4 percent the next year, said Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III. 

"I don’t expect that it will stay that low kasi bumabalik na iyong ekonomiya, nagiging mobile na ulit iyong mga tao (because the economy is opening up, people are getting more mobile). I expect population to growth to again go up. But we hope it will stay at around 1 percent," Perez said in a televised public briefing. 

"That is a manageable and stable population that will help government achieve… poverty reduction, iyong kagutuman mabawasan dahil hindi na nadadagdagan nang malaki iyong mga bilang ng mga pamilya."

(Hunger will be reduced because the increase in the number of families is not that huge.)

Before the pandemic, the population went up by around 1.5 million every year, noted the official. 

"What we are aiming for [is] a population growth of around 1 million every year," he added. 

This could "only be done if we’re able to maintain the family planning program which now covers 8 million to 9 million," Perez said. 
 
“Medyo malaking programa ito at kailangan, lalo na ngayong darating na taon, ang collaboration with local governments because sila ang nagde-deliver mainly ng services,” he said. 

(This is a major program so it needs, especially in the upcoming year, collaboration with local governments because they will mainly deliver the services.) 

Some 68,000 births were recorded in January 2022, lower than the usual 100,000 births in the Philippines every month, Perez noted. 

He said unplanned pregnancies also decreased last year.

"Ito ay epekto ng paggamit ng family planning at mas mababang bilang ng nagpapakasal noong panahon ng pandemiya," he said. 

(This is an effect of family planning and the lower number of couples who got married during the pandemic.) 

Under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Popcom also aims to continue its program on teen pregnancy, which Perez said remains “high” at around 150,000 a year. 

“Gagawin naming pambansang programa ito, lalo na iyong social protection ng adolescent mother and their children, starting next, katulong ang DSWD,” he said. 

(We will make this a national program, especially the social protection of the adolescent mother and their children, starting next, with the help of the DSWD.) 

The commission also aims to bring down population poverty to below 10 percent, help spur jobs for the youth and women, and push for a "livable" wage that considers poverty levels in various regions, Perez said. 

The Popcom will present these plans at the first meeting of its board of commissioners on Aug. 30, so these could be later endorsed to the President. 

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— With a report from Kat Domingo, ABS-CBN News