ABOUT half of the total number of babies born in Northern Mindanao in 2017 have parents who were not married.
The Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) in Northern Mindanao said a total of 93,986 live births were registered at the Local Civil Registry Offices throughout Northern Mindanao in 2017.
Some 53.6 percent, or about half, were born out of wedlock, based on the PSA report released on May 15.
Northern Mindanao was among 17 regions in the country that recorded a proportion of more than 50 percent for babies born out wedlock.
Other regions were Eastern Visayas (65.4 percent), National Capital Region (64.9 percent), Calabarzon (58.2 percent), Davao Region (57.4 percent), Central Visayas (56.7 percent), Bicol Region (55.7 percent), Caraga Region (55.6 percent), Central Luzon (52.7 percent), and Ilocos Region (50.6 percent).
Among the provinces and highly urbanized cities in the region, Bukidnon recorded the highest number of live births at 29,182 or 31.05 percent of the total live births while the lowest was recorded in the island province of Camiguin at 1,500 or 1.60 percent, regardless of whether the parents were married or not.
"On the average, approximately 258 babies were born daily or 11 babies are born each hour in Northern Mindanao during the reference year (2017)," the PSA statement said.
"Notably, the highly urbanized city of Cagayan de Oro ranked the second highest number of live births registered. Presence of hospitals in the city which has better birthing facilities could somehow explain why there are mothers who preferred to deliver their child at the hospitals in Cagayan de Oro City," the statement added.
Of the total number of registered live births in 2017, more male babies (49,222 or 52.37 percent) were born than female babies (44,764 or 47.63 percent) resulting to a sex ratio of 110 male babies born for every 100 female babies in Northern Mindanao. Misamis Occidental recorded the highest ratio and Camiguin recorded the lowest ratio at 112 and 105 male babies for every 100 female babies, respectively.
In another set of data, PSA said that of the total number of live births in Northern Mindanao for 2017, 91.3 percent or 85,805 births were attended by health professionals which may either be a physician, a midwife or a nurse.
"This indicates that most mothers preferred to be attended by health professionals during the delivery of their child rather than those traditional birth attendants. Additionally, this is an indicator that the 'No Home-Birthing Policy' or the policy prohibiting deliveries assisted by traditional birth attendants has been successfully implemented,” the PSA report reads.