MORE than seven million people are believed to be living in Central Visayas, an increase of nearly 680,000 people since 2010, when the last government census was taken.
In Cebu Province and the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu, the projected increase from 2010 to 2015 is around 544,000 persons.
Any increase will be confirmed this year, when the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) conducts another census from Aug. 10 to Sept. 5, 2015.
If the projections are current, Lapu-Lapu City would see the most dramatic increase: 79,533 more persons or a population growth of 22.7 percent from 2010 to 2015.
An increase in population will also mean an increase in the Internal Revenue Allotment of local governments to support the additional services needed, said Assistant Director Elias Fernandez of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“It’s DBM (the Department of Budget and Management) that will determine these adjustments,” Fernandez said.
The population in Central Visayas is projected to increase from 6.5 million in 2010 to around 7.1 million this year. This projection still includes Negros Oriental.
Remove the projection for Negros Oriental—which now forms part of the new Negros Island Region—and the Central Visayas population may drop from 6.5 million in 2010 to 5.8 million in 2015.
Speaking during the Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency), PSA Cebu Provincial Statistics Officer Firmo Deputado said the agency expects the national population to exceed 100 million this year.
He said the population increased by 1.98 percent every year, on average, from 1990 to 2000. This growth rate dropped slightly to 1.77 percent from 2000 to 2010.
Even if Negros Oriental will be separated from Region 7 because of the creation of Negros Island Region, the census in that province will be considered part of Central Visayas for this year, Deputado said.
President Benigno Aquino III signed last week the executive order creating the new region.
PSA 7 Information Officer Noel Rafols said the population of Negros Oriental as of May 2010 was 1,286,666, less than half of Cebu Province’s 2,619,362. Bohol’s population in 2010 stood at 1,255,128. Siquijor had 91,066.
Rafols said that based on the growth rate, the population of Lapu-Lapu City is projected to increase from 350,467 (2010) to 430,000. That means an additional 79,533 persons or 22.69 percent higher than in 2010.
The projection is from 331,320 to 370,000 people for Mandaue City; from 866,171 to 950,000 for Cebu City; and from 200,772 to 225,00 for Talisay City.
Rafols added that Lapu-Lapu City has the highest population growth because the families of manufacturing and industrial workers from different provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao have moved with them to the city.
For the four provinces, the expected population increase is from 2,619,362 to three million for Cebu Province; from 1,255,128 to 1,320,000 for Bohol; from 1,286,666 to 1,350,000 for Negros Oriental; and from 91,066 to 96,000 for Siquijor.
Deputado urged participants to give correct answers to PSA enumerators from Aug. 10 to Sept. 5, 2015 so they can come up with accurate population figures.
The 2015 census is based on Republic Act 10625, also known as the Philippine Statistics Act of 2013, signed into law by President Aquino last Sept. 12, 2013.
Executive Order 352 authorized PSA to gather critical data for decision-making of government and private sectors.
Deputado warned that any person who will not give the correct information to enumerators can be fined from P5,000 to P10,000 plus sent to prison for three months.
The census of population 2015 report is scheduled to be submitted to the Office of the President by February 2016.