Births in PH dropping sharply amid pandemic
MANILA, Philippines—Births in the Philippines continued to decline and posted the biggest drop in 2020 even as the COVID-19 pandemic locked down millions of Filipinos at home.
In a Jan. 26 report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said 1.53 million live births were registered in 2020, down 8.7 percent from 1.67 million in 2019, pre-pandemic.
Two years ago, “on the average, 4,177 babies were born daily, which translates to 174 babies born per hour or approximately three babies born per minute,” the PSA said.
The drop in 2020 births was the largest since the decreasing trend first observed in 2012.
Births have been declining from 1.79 million in 2012 to 1.76 in 2013, 1.75 million in 2014, 1.74 million in 2015, 1.73 million in 2016, 1.7 million in 2017, and 1.66 million in 2018.
It was only in 2019 when births inched up, but then again sharply declined in 2020.
Separate latest, preliminary PSA data showed that the number of registered births from January to November 2021 dropped by an even faster 23.8 percent to 1.08 million from 1.41 million during the first 11 months of 2020.
The Inquirer asked National Statistician Dennis Mapa what could be the reason behind the downward trend, but he had yet to provide comment from the PSA’s technical team as of press time.
The Reproductive Health Law was aimed at slowing down the birth and fertility rates among women in the Philippines to control the ballooning population.
It did not help that the COVID-19 pandemic shed millions of jobs such that couples may have been deciding to delay having children due to the harder times.
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