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Pinoy’s concerns: Pay hike, growing population

access_time 12-05-2017, 23:39 chat_bubble_outline 32 views

MANILA, Philippines -  The country’s growing population is among the most urgent national concerns of Filipinos, the Commission on Population (PopCom) reported yesterday.

Citing the March 2017 Pulse Asia survey, PopCom said the rapid population growth was one of the major concerns of Filipinos with 11 percent, up three percentage points from December 2016.

Higher pay for workers remained the most urgent national concern of 43 percent of the respondents.

The next two economic concerns deemed urgent were controlling inflation or prices increases (41 percent from 34 percent) and creating more jobs (39 percent from 31 percent).

“Many Filipinos are wary about rapid population growth as the country’s population reached 101 million during the 2015 Population Census. Based on studies, rapidly increasing population impacts on various development concerns in the country such as economy, education, employment, health and other development sectors,” PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said.

The survey, conducted from March 15 to 20, used face-to-face interviews of 1,200 Filipinos aged 18 and above.

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Other urgent concerns were fighting graft and corruption (still at 31 percent), fighting criminality (28 percent from 33 percent), reducing poverty (27 percent from 33 percent), increasing peace in the country (18 percent from 23 percent), enforcing the law (16 percent from 17 percent) and environmental degradation (15 percent from 11 percent).

Perez noted that the country’s growing population was mainly driven by high fertility rate. 

Based on the latest National Demographic and Health Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, every woman has an average of three children during her childbearing age of 15 to 49. This is one child more than what they planned or intended. 

Women belonging to poor socio-economic conditions have an average of five children or two children more than what they planned. 

Perez said the alarming increase in teenage pregnancies also contributed to population growth.

“When the country is able to form its most important resource – the people – into educated, skilled and healthy individuals, increasing population can facilitate greater economic productivity,” he said.

“But if the government fails to match with available services the needs of the growing number of people, this may lead to poor condition of the labor force,” he added.

This may also result in lower productivity and high dependency on the government’s scarce resources. 

Perez said bigger families lessen the capacity of parents to provide for the basic needs of their children. 

According to Perez, if parents are not responsible enough to plan their families, they will find it hard to feed, clothe, house, send to school, provide jobs and keep their children healthy and well.

He underscored the need for the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the temporary restraining order on the use by the Department of Health (DOH) of subdermal contraceptive implants. 

“Family planning helps couples and individuals plan the number and spacing of their children according to their capacities, to form them into productive citizens who, in turn, would contribute to national development,” Perez said.

 In June 2015, the SC stopped the DOH from distributing contraceptive implants.

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