Countdown to Gold
"POPCOM 50th Anniversary"
February 19, 2019
Family size matters:
Average Filipino family spends 40% of monthly expenses on food
The average Filipino family spends nearly half of its resources per month on food.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that at the end of the second quarter of 2018, food expenditure stood as 41.5 percent of total household expenditure.
In the Philippines, more than half of family members are identified as dependents, based on Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) July 2018 overall dependency ratio of 57.7 percent.
Families in Western countries like the United States and United Kingdom spend around 10% of their monthly expenditure on food.
This means that the total family income is mostly spent on food and less spending is made for clothing and other basic service necessities such as housing, electricity, water and other social services such as health and education.
Families with highest poverty incidence such as those in the fishing and agriculture sectors are hardest hit as high inflation rate remain unabated, making the daily survival of poor Filipino families hard to address, more so with increasing family size.
The theme “Pamilyang Planado, Panalo! #FamilyPlanningTryMo,” is still the battle cry for this year’s Family Planning Month celebration in August. Together with the Department of Health (DOH), the Commission on Population (POPCOM) has been integrating and implementing programs that promote awareness and information on family planning methods for the past 49 years since POPCOM’s early beginnings.
Family Planning (FP) is now being recognized as one of the vital health programs. It emphasizes the health and well-being of mothers through proper awareness and use of different family planning method with the aim to reduce maternal and infant deaths; decrease teenage pregnancies; avoid induced abortion cases; and ultimately, alleviate, if not end cycle of poverty in the future.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), roughly one in ten women age 15-19 have begun childbearing and 17% of women age 15-49 want to practice FP but do not have access to said FP methods.
Despite the numerous benefits of family planning, some Filipinos are still hesitant to try different modern FP methods due to myths and misconceptions. FP practice is lowest among married women who belong to the lowest socioeconomic classification and those who did not attend school.
Moreover, the issue of adolescent fertility is equally important for both health and social reasons. Teenage mothers and their children are exposed to risk of illness and even death as well as experiencing constraints in pursuing educational and employment opportunities.
POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio A. Perez III said, “POPCOM will continue to work hard in giving the best FP information and services to every Filipino family. We will unreservedly invest in the health and rights of women and couples for them to have the power to choose, plan and attain their goals and desires for themselves and for their families. When they are empowered, so is this country.” Dr. Perez said. “Ang Pamilyang Planado, Panalo!” he added.
With the said observance for this month, POPCOM together with regional offices will organize local events such as health caravans, seminars, workplace orientations, conferences and social media campaigns to generate widespread attention about family planning.
The Commission on Population (POPCOM) is proud to announce that it has received its ISO 9001:2015 Certification on July 30, 2018. This milestone is another achievement of the agency as it continues to fulfill its goal in empowering Filipino families to help them achieve a better quality of life.
In photo are POPCOM officials and staff (standing, left to right): Ma. Theresa Rivera, Nervie Florentino, Aileen Serrano, Deogracias Hilvano, Lourdes Nacionales, Susana Codotco, Salvacion Collao and Lliwilla Argoso). Seated are (l-r) POPCOM Region IV Director Angelito Obcena, Ms. Cecil Santos, Deputy Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon, Executive Director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, Ms. Laarni Narido, AJA Business Development and Client Relations Manager, Ms. Judy May Pastrana, Business Development and Client Relations Officer, Mr. Ben De Leon and NCR Regional Director Lydio Español Jr.
Pinoy 100 millionth baby turns 4: Implications on his total well being
On July 27, 2018, the Philippines’ symbolic 100 millionth babies turn four years old. The Commission on Population (POPCOM) identified four years ago the babies across the country who were born on July 27, 2014, when the Philippines hit its 100 millionth mark in terms of population count.
This year’s celebration as symbolic babies focuses on the theme, “Sa Ika-apat na taon, Pagtataguyod sa Pangkalahatang Kapakanan ni Baby”. POPCOM Regional Offices have been following up the health status of their respective symbolic 100 millionth babies. The monitoring tool will help determine the type of support in terms of nutrition, education, health services, among others, that still needs to be extended to the symbolic babies and their respective families in the coming years.
The 2014 demographic event was an institutional reality-check that the country was then reaching a 100-million population record. In only about four years’ time, today, our country has a population of 106.2 million. This number was projected from Census of Population’s (POPCEN) 100.9 million count in 2015. This makes the country the 13th largest in the world and second biggest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region according to the ranking of the United Nations Statistical Data.
“Based on the population projections, the Philippine population will increase by 1.8 million by the end of 2018, growing at a rate of 1.69 percent. That means we will be adding 4,965 Filipinos per day, or 206 every hour in 2018,” POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III stated.
The birth of the 100 millionth symbolic babies nationwide remains a challenge to the government as these babies are expected to demand an increase of the family’s capacity to provide for the needs of their children.
“As duty bearers of the society, POPCOM will continue to monitor these babies as a reiteration of our advocacy through the years that every child should be born wanted, and his/her basic rights on social services such as health and education are ensured for his/her total development”, said Dr. Perez. “We aim to provide quality life for the babies and make every Filipino count in the progress and development of the country as the population increases rapidly every year”, Dr. Perez added.
The event four years ago called for paying proactive attention to the importance of maternal and neonatal health as well as promote responsible parenthood and family planning among Filipino families. It was also seen as a challenge to the Philippines as its socio-economic and political situation struggle to give the citizenry a better quality of life.
Referred to as symbolic 100 millionth babies representing the national capital region, baby Chonalyn Sentino’s birth was witnessed by officials from the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) and POPCOM at the Fabella Hospital in Manila. Other babies born on the same date an hour later at 12 midnight nationwide, their birth was witnessed by some local officials.
A four-year old in the Philippines should have been fully immunized, his or her nutritional status monitored, and preparations made for entry to K-12, including assuring birth certification and PhilHealth Coverage. Meanwhile, some of the 100 Millionth babies are also recipients of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program to improve the well-being of their families.
2018 World Population Day Highlights Family Planning as a Human Right
The Philippines joins the international community as it observes the World Population Day (WPD) on July 11, 2018. The population day is celebrated annually focusing attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. For 2018, the observance banners the theme: “Family Planning is a Human Right”.
For the national celebration, the Commission on Population (POPCOM), in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and other stakeholders, will hold a Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) Caravan which aims to provide RPFP information and services to around 800 urban poor communities in Disiplina Village, Bignay, Valenzuela City. These services are Family Planning (FP) Counseling, Medical/Dental services, Pap smear services, laboratory testing, implant insertion and provision of FP commodities.
POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio A. Perez III said, “We recognize that access to Family Planning (FP) information and services is a right that everyone is entitled to and we must work together so that nobody will be left behind. Investing in FP is investing in the health and rights of women and couples worldwide for them to be empowered and eventually achieve a better quality of life”, said Dr. Perez. “FP is not just about access to contraceptives but also a human development as we empower them to make their choices”, Dr. Perez added.
Dr. Perez III also stressed that the government is determined to respect, promote and ultimately fulfill the promise of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law, that is, to provide universal access to family planning information and services for all women and couples.
UNFPA Country Representative Klaus Beck also added that, "When a woman can plan her family, she can plan her life. She can pursue more education, seek and keep better jobs, and contribute more to her family and her country with the benefits carrying over well into the future. This is why it is crucial that we ensure a woman's right to family planning".
According to the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the fertility rate of women in the Philippines dropped from an average of three children, down to 2.7. However, teenage pregnancy still remains high with 9 percent of women age 15-19 having begun childbearing. PSA data also state that there are more than 200,000 women who are pregnant with 130,000 minors giving birth every year and needing FP and adolescent health services.
Last year, President Duterte issued Executive Order No. 12 to intensify and accelerate the implementation of critical actions necessary to attain and sustain “zero unmet need for modern family planning” for all poor households by 2018 and beyond. He also repeatedly articulated in previous State of the Nation Address the full implementation of the RPRH Law. It can be recalled that the Temporary Restraining Order on the provision of family planning services was lifted in November 2017 when the FDA certified 51 contraceptives as non-abortifacient as required by the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Republic Act No. 10354, otherwise known as “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012” (RPRH Law), is a landmark legislation that laid the foundation to respect, protect and fulfill the reproductive health and rights of all Filipinos toward better health outcomes, and socioeconomic growth and development.
The RPFP caravan will be held simultaneously with similar activities across regions in collaboration with local government units. The activities include press conferences, fora, media guesting, film showing, provision of FP services, interactive activities on RH with adolescents (U4U) and KATROPA or Kalalakihang Tapat sa Responsibilidad at Obligasyon sa Pamilya for men among others.