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SPECIAL REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS - PHILIPPINES


GENERAL HEALTH ISSUES OF THE POPULATION

Population

According to the 2007 census, the total population of the Philippines was 88,574,614. 8 The annual population growth rate from 1990-2007 was 2.1 percent, down from 2.6 percent during the time period 1970-1990. 9 However there remains a constant concern about the Philippines' high population growth rate and it being a limiting factor for broad-based growth and reduction of poverty. 11 The poverty incidence increased to 26.9 percent for families in 2006 compared to 24.4 percent in 2003. This is however lower than the 27.5 percent poverty incidence in 2000. In terms of poverty incidence among population, out of 100 Filipinos, 33 were poor in 2006, compared to 30 in 2003 and 32.9 in 2000. 12

Birth and Fertility

The crude birth rate is defined as the annual number of births per 1,000 population. This rate has been dropping since 1970 - 40 in 1970, 33 in 1990 and 26 in 2007. However, the life expectancy at birth has dramatically increased since 1970 - 57 years in 1970, 65 years in 1990 and 72 years in 2007. 9 Fertility in the Philippines has declined steadily over the past three decades, especially in the first twenty years during which a decline of one birth every decade was observed (from 6.3 births per woman in 1970 to 4.3 births in 1990). The decline during the last 17 years has been rather slow, from 4.3 births per woman to 3.3 births per woman in 2007. The decline in fertility is brought about by, among other things, longer birth intervals, increased use of contraception and the desire for fewer children. Overall, fertility in the country remains considerably high compared with the levels observed in other Southeast Asian countries such as Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Women in these countries have on average less than 2.5 children per woman. 9, 10

Nearly half of all pregnancies every year are unintended, resulting in women having one-third more children than they desire, one-third being born less than two years apart, and 15 percent ending in abortion. For completed pregnancies, the majority (60 percent) of deliveries are home-based, two-thirds of them attended by an unskilled attendant. 11

 

9 UNICEF, At a glance: Philippines, www.unicef.org/infobycountry/philippines_statistics.html

10 Philippines National Statistics Office, www.census.gov.ph/data/sectordata/datandhs.html

11 WHO, Regional office for the Western Pacific, Philippines, www.wpro.who.int/countries/2008/phl/

12 National Statistical Coordination Board, Press Release, Poverty worsens between 2003 and 2006, www.nscb.gov.ph/pressreleases/2008/PR-200803-SS2-02_pov.asp

 

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