MANILA -- Filipino women of fertile age are now giving birth to fewer children, latest government data show.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) released its 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey on Friday, showing Filipino women's fertility rate went down to 2.7 live births last year from exactly three in 2013.
The Commission on Population (POPCOM) attributed the drop to the increase in married women's use of modern family planning methods by over 40 percent over the past few years.
”This is an unprecedented chance for family planning in the last four years, which coincided with the first four to five years of implementation of the Responsible Parenthood Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law,” said POPCOM executive Director Juan Antonio A. Perez III in a statement.
Perez said that the survey also showed that while more women were using oral contraceptive pills and injectables, the use of Progestin Subdermal Implant (PSI) was now only 1.1 percent.
He said such scenario was due to the two-year Supreme Court Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on implants and contraceptives.
With the result, he added, that POPCOM and its member agencies would continue to focus on the poorest 40 percent of Filipinos, who have the highest unmet need for family planning.
“The National Family Planning Program needs to be more unified to achieve a reduction in unmet need for family planning at a scale that will lead to an even greater reduction in fertility by the end of the Duterte Administration in 2022,” Perez said.
He also cited the need to break new ground among workers, farmers, and fisherfolks in urban and rural areas, where unmet need in family planning remains high. (PNA)