Population balloons to 106.4 million

MANILA, Philippines — As the country’s 100 millionth baby turned four last week, the population continues to grow faster in the Philippines than in any other country in Asia, ballooning to 106.4 million since 2014.

Commission on Population (Popcom) executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said the population is expected to increase by a million more by the end of the year.

“Based on the population projection, the Philippine population will increase by 1.8 million by the end of 2018, growing at a rate of 1.69 percent. That means we will be adding 4,965 Filipinos per day or 206 every hour in 2018,” Perez noted.

At this time, Perez said, the Philippine population is the 13th largest worldwide and second biggest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.

When the country’s population hit the 100-million mark, Popcom identified the babies born on July 27, 2014.

ChonalynSentino, who was born at the Fabella Hospital, was chosen as the symbolic 100th million baby representing the National Capital Region (NCR). Her birth was witnessed by Department of Health and PhilHealth officials.

The event four years ago, Perez said, called for the importance of maternal and neonatal health as well as the promotion of responsible parenthood and family planning among Filipino families.

“It was also seen as a challenge to the Philippines (for) its socio-economic and political struggle to give the citizenry quality of life,” Perez said.

Perez added that four-year-old children in the country should have been fully immunized, their nutritional status monitored, and preparations made for their entry to K-12 education.

Popcom since then has been monitoring children as a reiteration of the agency’s advocacy that they should be born wanted and their basic rights such as health and education are ensured.

Some of the 100-millionth babies are also recipients of PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program to improve their well-being and their families.

“We aim to provide quality life for the babies and make every Filipino count in the progress and development of the country as the population increases rapidly every year,” Perez noted.

To celebrate the birth of the 100-millionth babies, Popcom regional offices checked on the health status of the children in their areas of jurisdiction.

Perez said the monitoring would help determine the type of support to be extended to the children and their families in the coming years.