Popcom targets decrease in region’s population growth

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Monday, December 9, 2013

THE Commission on Population (Popcom) – Cordillera wants to cut the population rate by half in the region comes 2015.

Regional Director Rosa Fortaleza said they are strengthening their Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) in order to address the increasing population of the region. She said the program would like to respond to the current population growth rate of the region.

The 2010 National Statistics Office Census showed CAR has a population of 1,616,867 out of the 92,337,852 population of the Philippines. Of the population of the region, Baguio City has 318,676 population with a 2.36 percent growth rate. Benguet has 403,944 population with a growth rate of 2.04 percent.

Fortaleza said the PPMP aims to lower the population growth rate from 2.04 percent to 1.4 percent by 2015.

In order to lessen the population growth rate, other aspects which affect the growth of the population must also be addressed. These are fertility rate and the contraceptive prevalence rate.

The Regional Director said they want to lower the total fertility rate from 3.6 children per woman to 2.7 by 2015 and to achieve contraceptive prevalence rate of 61.3 percent by 2015 from 50.7 percent. She said this shows that 54 women out of 100 married women are using contraceptive.

Popcom hopes to increase the number of married women using contraceptive.

The PPMP is a population policy guided by a policy it is the couple’s responsibility to decide on the number of their children in accordance with their religious belief, demands of responsible parenthood and sustainable development.

Moreover, the program want to empower its three components called the family planning; population and development integration; and adolescent health and youth development (AHYD).

Fortaleza revealed Popcom wants to help couples or parents exercise responsible parenting to achieve their desired number, timing and spacing of their children. She said they also want to contribute in improving maternal, neonatal and child health, and nutrition.

On the other hand, she said her agency commits to “partner with youth allies to help adolescents and youth avoid risky sexual and non – sexual behaviors”. She said they will conduct series of trainings, seminars and classes to parents, youth and community leaders in order to fight premarital sex which usually leads to teenage pregnancy.

Fortaleza is hopeful they can achieve their targets by 2015 with the help of the community, parents, youth, and officials.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 10, 2013.

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