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Phl Population May Reach 115 Million By Yearend

Phl Population May Reach 115 Million By Yearend
This Agence France-Presse file photo shows a pregnant Filipina teenager

The Philippines’ population may reach 115 million by the end of the year, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) said on Monday, Nov. 20.

“The Philippines, based on the 2020 census, has recorded 109 million Filipinos, and it is estimated that it will reach around 115 million by the end of 2023,” CPD deputy executive director Lolito Tacardon said in an interview with “Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon” program over government-run PTV.

The number is based on the country’s population growth rate of 1.6 percent annually, according to Tacardon.

The Philippines is now 13th among the most populous countries in the world.

“Meanwhile, in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines is at seventh place,” Tacardon said.

He noted that the 1.6-percent increase in population growth rate annually meant that the country’s population “has already stabilized.”

“Total fertility rate (in the Philippines) showed that a woman of reproductive health normally gives birth to two children only. This is based on the 2022 Health and Demographic Survey. This means that the total fertility level slows down the country’s population growth,” Tacardon explained.

At the same time, the CPD official stressed that the fertility rate has an impact on the country’s age structure.

“The dominant now is the working-age group population of 15 to 64 years old. The dependents, who are aged to zero to 14, are getting fewer in number. Its implication is that if the country becomes successful in building human resources such as the working-age population, there is a chance to accelerate economic development,” he said.

“If all or many are working, all will contribute to development rather than receiving help from the government. There is positive contribution to economic development,” he added.

If the number of children in the family is manageable, there will be more investment when it comes to their health, studies and well-being as a family, according to Tacardon.

He said that the CPD is continuously addressing the increasing number of teenage pregnancy cases in the country.

“We know the implications of this early pregnancy. There is a need for a comprehensive sexuality education. We will also include here the out-of-school youth through coordination with the community,” he said.

“This will also include providing information to parents and teachers who are constantly reminding and guiding these members of the young population,” he added.

Reproductive health law

Meanwhile, the Philippines discussed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to ensure universal and equitable access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.

At the 7th Asian and Pacific Population Conference recently held at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok, Thailand, the country advocated social protection, gender equality and the positive contribution of migrants to the country’s people-centered development.

The conference was organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with the UN Population Fund in Asia and the Pacific.

CPD executive director Undersecretary Lisa Grace Bersales was elected vice chair of the 7th conference.

Bersales co-led a multi-agency Philippine delegation with Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary for policy and plans Adonis Sulit and Undersecretary for operations Monina Josefina Romualdez.

Representatives of the Departments of Health and Foreign Affairs also joined the delegation.

The Philippine delegation delivered interventions on various aspects of socioeconomic development, including health, poverty eradication, community development and education, signi-fying the strong commitment of the Philippine government to uplifting the lives of all Filipinos.

The Philippine country statement, delivered by Bersales, underscored the government’s key social protection priorities in the recently adopted Philippine Population and Development Plan 2023-2028, which serves as the overall blueprint for inter-agency collaboration to optimize demographic opportunities and address remaining population challenges.

The delegation also discussed other measures in continuous pursuit of gender equality and the elimination of gender-based violence.

The positive role and contribution of migrants to socio-economic development of the Philippines was likewise recognized.

The delegation highlighted the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers to institute more effective protection and promotion of the well-being of Filipino migrant workers.

The delegation’s interventions at the conference placed emphasis on the Philippine government’s inclusive economic growth strategy to ensure that no one is left behind, including through the flagship conditional cash transfer program for more than four million economically disadvantaged families, among other initiatives.

The Asian and Pacific Population Conference, held every 10 years, serves as the regional platform for member-states to discuss the integral and mutually reinforcing linkages between population and development, including as they relate to the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

At the conference, member-states also reviewed the region’s implementation of international and regional commitments. – With Pia Lee-Brago