PSA: Heart diseases, cancer among leading cause of death in Philippines in 2020


Posted at Jul 06 2021 08:40 PM

'Self-harm' cases spiked by more than half in 2020

MANILA - Heart diseases were the top cause of deaths in the Philippines in 2020, with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reporting more Filipinos dying due to the illness, latest data showed. 

Based on the state statistics agency’s report on Monday, 105,110 Filipinos died because of ischaemic heart diseases or illnesses causing oxygen deprivation in the heart, accounting for 17.1 percent of the total fatalities in the country. 

The PSA said the lives claimed by ischaemic heart diseases rose by 7.8 percent from 97,480 thousand deaths or 15.7 percent in 2019. 

Cancer or neoplasms, meanwhile, placed second on the list with 66,179 deaths or 10.8 percent of the total, decreasing by 3.6 percent from 2019’s 68,660, according to the agency. 

It is followed by cerebrovascular diseases (64,100), diabetes (39,720), and pneumonia (34,250). 

PSA: Heart diseases, cancer among leading cause of death in Philippines in 2020 1
Data and table from the Philippine Statistics Authority

Those who died due to pneumonia last year decreased by a 45.4 percent from the previous year’s 62,720 fatalities, the report read. 

“The top three causes of death in the country in 2020 were ischaemic heart diseases, neoplasms, and cerebrovascular diseases. Incidentally, these were also the leading causes of death in 2019,” the PSA said. 


Watch more on iWantTFC


Suicide or “intentional self-harm” deaths rose to 4,420 in 2020, the year when the pandemic reached the Philippines, with cases increasing by more than half or 57.3 percent, the statisticians noted. 

Because of the development, suicide is now the 25th leading cause of death in the country, climbing 6 notches higher from being 31th in 2019 with 2,810 registered cases. 

Experts earlier said pandemic fatigue is affecting more Filipinos, endangering the general public’s mental health. 

This was evident in the increase of calls to helplines, fully-booked consultation schedules, and rise in activities that sought to combat stress.

Psychologist Randy Dellosa said Filipinos have grown “sick and tired of trying to consider as a ‘new normal’ what in reality is an obvious ‘abnormal.’’’


The PSA also recorded 30,140 deaths linked to COVID-19 last year, higher than what the health department has officially confirmed.

Of the said figure, 20,840 deaths were classified under “COVID-19 virus not identified” or “probable cases as of registration” while 9,300 were cases where COVID-19 virus was detected, or confirmed by a laboratory test. 

The PSA admitted that its data and that of the DOH could be different due to varying standards and bases. 

The country’s death toll stood at 25,296 as of Tuesday, with a case fatality rate of 1.75 percent. 

Editor's note:

A group in the Philippines is dedicated to addressing those who have suicidal tendencies.

The crisis hotlines of the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation aim to make these individuals feel that someone is ready to listen to them.

These are their hotline numbers:
Information and Crisis Intervention Center (02) 804-HOPE (4673) 0917-558-HOPE (4673) or (632) 211-4550 0917-852-HOPE (4673) or (632) 964-6876 0917-842-HOPE (4673) or (632) 964-4084
In Touch Crisis Lines: 0917-572-HOPE or (632) 211-1305 (02) 893-7606 (24/7) (02) 893-7603 (Mon-Fri, 9 am-5 pm) Globe (63917) 800.1123 or (632) 506.7314 Sun (63922) 893.8944 or (632) 346.8776

Several crisis hotlines have also been launched to help those who have mental health issues. 

The NCMH hotline can be reached through the following numbers:

- 1553 (Luzon-wide landline toll-free)

GLOBE / TM Subscribers
- 0917-899-8727
- 0966-351-4518

SMART / SUN / TNT Subscribers
- 0908-639-2672