MANILA -- The Philippine economy is poised to undergo accelerated growth as a result of demographic dividends as early as 2025, if it can moderate population growth and invest in human capital.

In an explainer, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) cited the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 emphasizing the need for a sustained universal health care program and reproductive health policies to reduce mortality and fertility rates.

“The Philippines is expected to be the last major Asian economy to benefit from the demographic dividend between the years 2025-2070. If not properly addressed, the country would need to wait until at least 2050 to benefit from the demographic dividend, or possibly miss it all together,” it said.

The NEDA said the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law must be fully implemented, along with adequate investment in human capital, particularly health and education for children and the youth, in general.

“We need to fully implement the RPRH Law to speed up the demographic transition. If fully implemented now, we should get there by 2025,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Ernesto Pernia said.

“When people are able to care for their reproductive health and plan for their families, they can save more and invest in their children better. This will lead to a population that is healthier and well educated,” he said.

The NEDA identified other measures the government is taking to steer the country through a demographic transition and reap its dividends.

On the education front, the current K to 12 curriculum integrates lessons on sexuality education aimed at helping students make informed choices about issues that affect their well-being. This will help address population issues by improving the education of the younger population, especially girls, to delay marriage and prevent early pregnancy.

The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which has been implemented since 2008, upholds children’s rights and aims to ensure that their basic needs concerning education, healthcare, and responsible parenting are met, it said. (PNA)