PH population growth rate fastest in Southeast Asia, will continue increasing even if couples limit children to two

The Philippines has the fastest population growth rate in Southeast Asia at 2.04 percent, with 500,000 more people in the past four months, said the Commission on Population (Popcom). Currently at 94 million, the country’s population is estimated to reach 94.6 million by the end of the year, reports Inquirer.net.

Even if each couple would only have two children, the population will still continue increasing in the next 50 years, Inquirer.net quoted Popcom director for Metro Manila Rosalinda Marcelino. More than 50 percent of Filipinos are "predominantly young," who will "become parents in due time:" 35 percent are below 15 years old and 15 percent belong to the 15-24 bracket.

"Responsible population policy and political will" are needed to address the looming population explosion, Marcelino told members of the House committee on population. "She said there is a need to shift focus from promoting natural family planning methods to the use of artificial contraceptives," reports Inquirer.net.

Among Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines has the highest fertility rate at 3.3 children born per woman, the highest unemployment rate at eight percent, and the second lowest contraceptive prevalence rate at 50.7 percent. Marcelino said the data comes from the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Commission on Asia and the Pacific, the UN Development Program, and other countries.

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.

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