By Rizal Obanil
Although the Philippines has made significant gains since it joined the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt about 25 years ago, a Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) official believes that much still needs to be done to check its population growth of more than 2 million babies per year.
Last Thursday (July 11), the Philippines joined other countries that are part of the ICPD in reviewing the steps that have been taken to bring down the world’s population growth.
According to data from POPCOM, in 1994, the global population rate was 1.21 percent, eventually growing to 1.40 percent in a 25-year span.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the country’s population continued to rise at a staggering rate of three babies per minute.
Since 2015 the rate of growth slowed to 1.76 percent but even with the decline, growth rate experts expect the country’s population to double in the next 39 years.
Since 1994 the total fertility rate from 4.1 percent in 1993 has dropped to 2.7 percent in 2017. Modern contraceptive prevalence has increased from 25 percent to 40 percent in 2017 as well. These gains could be attributed to the government’s family planning program.
Nevertheless, POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III believes that two million is still a big number compared to other countries.
With a population of 108 million, the Philippines is the 13th most populous country in the world.
In comparison, Thailand and South Korea, only add around 200,000 to their population each year, Perez said,
The high population growth will definitely affect the allotment of resources, he said.