200,000 teen moms expected
The Commission on Population (POPCOM) on Thursday revealed that the Philippine population to reach 105,758,850 by December 31, 2017.
POPCOM projections sets the number of schoolchildren at 31.5 million, the labor force at 66.7 million, and the population of Filipinos over 65 years old at 5.2 million.
POPCOM sees an increase of women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years old) to 27,293,422. These women are usually the beneficiaries of Reproductive Health services under the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law.
The last available data for this age group from the PSA website is in 2005. At that time, there were 19 million women aged 15 to 49.
POPCOM also noted an increase of adolescent girls (10 to 19 years old) to 10,080,824. They estimate that over 200,000 of these girls will give birth in 2017, based on PSA data from 2014.
The increasing trend for these two age groups is expected to continue to 2022, peaking at 29.1 million (women of reproductive age) and 11.3 million (adolescent girls).
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has underscored the importance of addressing the factors leading to the rising number of teen pregnancy in the Philippines, especially considering the downward trend in other places in the Asia Pacific region.
“The continuing increase in population is due to relatively high fertility rates of
Filipino women which is 3 children on average,” Executive Director Juan A. Perez III of POPCOM said in a press release.
Perez noted that 11 of the 17 regions show higher rates of fertility than the national average: ARMM, BIcol, and Western Visayas.
“ARMM, Bicol and Western Visayas continue to have rates ranging from 3.8 in Western Visayas to 4.1 in Bicol and 4.2 in ARMM,” he added.
POPCOM’s projections are based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), whose latest census data from August 2015 (released in May 2016) pegged the Philippine population at 100.98 billion.( TJD, GMA )