On POPDEV Week, POPCOM pushes for decent and appropriate wages for a household, or “living wage,” for its members to achieve genuine development. POPCOM FILE PHOT

As family planning continues to gain ground nationwide, and family sizes stabilize at two to three children, the Philippine government must now turn to other important development aspects of the country’s population—particularly the “living wages” necessary for parents to responsibly fulfill their role as heads of their families.

                This was the position of Undersecretary Juan Antonio A. Perez III, MD, MPH, as the country observes Population and Development (POPDEV) Week from November 23 to 29. According to him, it is high time for Filipinos to focus their attention on fostering families that will not only have enough food and other necessities. They also have to ensure brighter paths for their children, which not only allows for the survival of their members, but also the means to save for their future.

                Recently, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) disclosed a study on the incomes families need to survive and thrive in the different regions.  For the Philippines to achieve its demographic dividend by 2025, the agency revealed that at least 1 million more women need to join the country’s family planning program, which is currently expanding by half a million every year. It said the target of 2.1 fertility or lower has already been achieved in CALABARZON and the National Capital Region (NCR). However, most regions still have almost three-child families, with the Bangsamoro Region at four.

“To survive the current crisis, Filipino families need to stabilize at an average of two children and have incomes that improve the quality of their lives—not just minimum wages which do not allow for savings,” Perez said. “In NCR, the current regional wage rates require both parents to work.”

According to the agency, the situation worsens outside NCR and CALABARZON: The POPCOM-United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) study showed that in the Bangsamoro, couples need to have four jobs at current wage rates to support four-child families. In other regions such as Zamboanga Peninsula, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, MIMAROPA, SOCCSKSARGEN and Davao, families with three children need three jobs given their respective minimum wages to survive.

As family planning continues to gain ground nationwide, and family sizes stabilize at two to three children, the Philippine government must now turn to other important development aspects of the country’s population—particularly the “living wages” necessary for parents to responsibly fulfill their role as heads of their families.

                This was the position of Undersecretary Juan Antonio A. Perez III, MD, MPH, as the country observes Population and Development (POPDEV) Week from November 23 to 29. According to him, it is high time for Filipinos to focus their attention on fostering families that will not only have enough food and other necessities. They also have to ensure brighter paths for their children, which not only allows for the survival of their members, but also the means to save for their future.

                Recently, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) disclosed a study on the incomes families need to survive and thrive in the different regions.  For the Philippines to achieve its demographic dividend by 2025, the agency revealed that at least 1 million more women need to join the country’s family planning program, which is currently expanding by half a million every year. It said the target of 2.1 fertility or lower has already been achieved in CALABARZON and the National Capital Region (NCR). However, most regions still have almost three-child families, with the Bangsamoro Region at four.

“To survive the current crisis, Filipino families need to stabilize at an average of two children and have incomes that improve the quality of their lives—not just minimum wages which do not allow for savings,” Perez said. “In NCR, the current regional wage rates require both parents to work.”

According to the agency, the situation worsens outside NCR and CALABARZON: The POPCOM-United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) study showed that in the Bangsamoro, couples need to have four jobs at current wage rates to support four-child families. In other regions such as Zamboanga Peninsula, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, MIMAROPA, SOCCSKSARGEN and Davao, families with three children need three jobs given their respective minimum wages to survive.

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