PopCom logs decline in registered births in Western Visayas | Inquirer News
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PopCom logs decline in registered births in Western Visayas

/ 03:50 PM October 28, 2021
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ILOILO CITY—Contrary to expectations, the prolonged lockdowns and community quarantine restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to a decline in registered births.

The Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) in Western Visayas reported a 13.12 percent drop in registered births in the region, from 105,248 in 2019 to 91,437 in 2020, or 13,811 births, according to a Popcom regional office statement.

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“It is indeed good news for every Filipino that the expected increase in births in 2020 did not happen. The anticipated increase in births was based on the premise that couples would have more time together in their homes due to lockdowns. On the contrary, they became cautious on matters relating to fertility decisions and more aware of their reproductive and informed choices,” Popcom Western Visayas director Harold Alfred Marshall said.

The regional recorded birth numbers were similar to the national trend, which had a 9.45-percent drop from 1,674,302 in 2019 to 1,516,042 in 2020.

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This is the lowest recorded number of registered births since 1986 when 1,493,995 Filipinos were born.

While delayed registration of births due to quarantine restrictions could be one of the factors for the decrease, the Popcom also attributed the lower birth numbers to fewer marriages due to limited in-person gatherings, women delaying pregnancies due to the pandemic, and more women using family planning methods.

“The anticipation on the disruption on the access of family planning services due to limited movement of the people as an effect of COVID-19 restrictions prompted health agencies, development partners, and local governments to plan for proactive action and develop strategies to continuously provide social and family planning services to couples and individuals, especially those who have an unmet need for modern family planning. This was made possible through the mobilization and active support of the population volunteers and health workers in the region,” Marshall said.

The Popcom regional office cited the November 2020 survey of the Social Weather Station, which identified unintended or unplanned pregnancies as among the major concerns of most Filipino women during the pandemic.

The highest drop in the registered number of births was recorded in Negros Occidental, from 35,718 to 29,964 (16.11 percent); followed by Bacolod City, from 6,347 to 5,351 (15.69 percent); and Capiz, from 10,652 to 9,346 (12.26 percent).

The least drop was recorded in Guimaras, from 2,740 to 2,522 (7.95 percent); followed by Aklan, from 9,272 to 8,308 (10.39 percent); and Iloilo City, from 6,125 to 5,396 (11.9 percent).

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TAGS: community quarantine, COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, Population, Regions, registered births
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