The Philippine Commission on Population (POPCOM) on Thursday predicted that at least two million babies would be born next year.
The prediction came as many Filipinos have been temporarily cut-off from accessing contraceptives and family planning methods due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
An additional 200,000 births are expected to be added to the earlier estimate of 1.8 million babies next year.
This is according to POPCOM’s Executive Director Juan Antonio III, citing the estimates by the University of the Philippines’ Population Institution (UPPPI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). He said:
“An additional 214,000 pregnancies would push the number past 1.9 million in 2021.”
The study also found out that about 3 million women aged from 15 to 49-years old had unmet needs for family planning. POPCOM added:
“With family-planning services impeded due to the nationwide implementation of community quarantines, an additional 590,000 might be added to the figure, bringing the total to 3,688,000 – a 19 percent jump.”
The POPCOM also stated that the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) is projected to decline by 2.2 percent.
CPR is the percentage of women using contraceptives. The commission also said:
“This means over 400,000 women will drop out of the country’s family planning program.
Looking at these numbers, we foresee that because of the restrictions of movement as well as the reduction of access of women and men to family planning supplies, there will be at least one pregnancy for every three women with an unmet need for family planning.”
The Philippines is currently subjected to varying levels of quarantine measures against covid-19. The Philippine government imposed a coronavirus-induced lockdown since mid-March to counter the pandemic.
The POPCOM director stated:
“Those are just some of the adverse impacts of the community quarantine to the welfare of our families, which further aggravates the situation of the ongoing health crisis.”
Source: The Star