Popcom: More Filipinos becoming more ‘conscious’ of having children

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2022 04:35 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2022 04:47 PM

Day care children receive pasteurized milk as part of the Department of Agriculture's program on World Food Day in Quezon City on October 17, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Many Filipinos have become conscious of the implications of having children, as the country’s fertility rate dipped, the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) said on Wednesday. 

A recent study from the state statistics agency showed that the total fertility rate of Filipino women aged 15 to 49 years declined to 1.9 this year from 2.7 in 2017, considered the lowest so far. 

Popcom officer-in-charge Lolito Tacardon said the agency is looking at the declining fertility rate in the country as an “opportunity from various levels,” noting its benefits nationwide. 

“Sa mag-asawa, with their smaller family size, magkakaroon sila ng chance to have greater savings and investments sa kanilang kalusugan, sa pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak. At sila rin, ‘yung couples din, will have more opportunity for self-development and overall family well-being,” Tacardon said in a public briefing.

“Kung lahat ng pamilya ay ganiyan at nabibigyan ng kakayahan mabigyan ng beyond their basic needs at mag-invest sa pagbuo ng kalidad lalo na ‘yung human resource natin, that will be down for the quality human resource in general which will contribute sa ating productivity at socio-economic development ng buong bansa,” he added. 

Video from RTVM

He said the study somehow showed that more Filipinos have been using contraceptives and family methods. 

Some people have also been more practical and more conscious as to the number of their children they want to have.

“Nakikita natin na baka dahil ang data nakuha natin during the pandemic, medyo nagkakaroon na rin tayo ng higher consciousness on value of children na kaya lang buhayin ng isang pamilya,” Tacardon said. 

“So they have become more… responsible when it comes to their decision as to the number of their children. ‘Yun ang initially nakikita nating factors that contributed to the decline in fertility.”

Meanwhile, Popcom is still addressing teenage pregnancies in rural and remote areas, with Tacardon saying that they may launch a targeted solution to ensure that couples will be able to achieve their “fertility intentions.”

They are also prepared to respond to family planning in marginalized areas coupled with providing jobs and economic opportunities for couples, especially women, amid the low fertility rate.