PH population now 92.3M, up by 15.8M in 10 years
MANILA, Philippines – The nearly 16 million increase in the Philippine population over 10 years, as shown by the 2010 Population and Housing Survey by the National Statistics Office, is yet another sign that the reproductive health bill should be passed, according to the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development Foundation.
The Philippine population as of May 1, 2010 stood at 92.337 million, according to the NSO survey. This was 15.83 million higher than the country’s population in 2000. The annual growth rate from 2000 to 2010 was 1.9 percent.
“These figures say that all the more, the government needs population and development planning, which can be provided through an RH law,” PLCPD Executive Director Ramon San Pascual said in a statement.
San Pascual said the country’s population growth rate of 1.9 percent was still one of the highest in Asia. This could also be attributed to the lack of a comprehensive reproductive health policy and the poor’s lack of access to family planning education and services.
He also said that based on the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey, 33 percent of total pregnancies among Filipinos were mistimed or unplanned.
“It is disheartening that as we grow rapidly, the number of babies born comes from the poor, who in the first place are not ready to carry the burden of having yet another child or children for that matter,” he said.
He said managing the country’s ballooning population could be done, if only legislators would pass the much-needed measure that would provide reproductive health education and services.
The RH bill has been pending for over 10 years in Congress and has always been the subject of contentious debates. The latest version of the bill is awaiting approval on second reading in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Advocates of the bill earlier said the measure was already ripe for a vote because no new issues or questions were being raised against it, and all the concerns brought out have been answered.
The bill seeks to define the government’s policy on reproductive health, and among its features is the provision of artificial methods of birth control, sex education for students and health services for women.
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