MANILA – An official of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) on Monday said the Philippine Population and Development Plan of Action (PPD-POA) would address population challenges, such as teenage pregnancies and the growing elderly population.
During the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon public briefing, POPCOM Deputy Executive Director Lolito Tacardon said while teenage pregnancies among Filipino women aged 15 to 19 years old have fallen, the incidence of pregnancies among minors aged 10 to 14 has increased.
"Mayroon pa rin po tayong mga demographic challenges na kinakaharap, isa na po diyan ay iyong pabata nang pabata po na teenage pregnancies natin (We still have demographic challenges that we are facing, and one of these is that teenage pregnancies occur at a much younger age)," Tacardon said.
"Medyo dumadami iyong bilang po na mas maagang nabubuntis at alam naman natin po iyong implications sa mga ganiyang edad kung sila po ay maagang nabubuntis (The number of very young adolescents getting pregnant is growing, and we all know the implications of being pregnant at that age)," he added.
He said another change in the country's demographic landscape is the steadily growing older population with Filipinos 60 years of age and older comprised 8.5 percent of the population, or 9.2 million.
He said policies must be in place not only to meet the health and long-term care needs of the aging population, but also keep them economically secure and productive.
High fertility rate among those with lower educational attainment and socioeconomic status, he said, is another challenge that needs to be addressed.
As for demographic opportunities, he said the total fertility rate falling to 1.9 offspring per woman, as well as the steady growth in the Philippines’ working-age population should be optimized.
"So, iyong plan of action ay dito po ni-lay out iyong mga strategies para ma-optimize iyong opportunities na nabanggit ko po kanina at the same time ma-address po iyong challenges na kaakibat din po ng mga changing demographic landscapes ng ating bansa (So the plan of action lays down the strategies that could optimize the opportunities that I've mentioned earlier, at the same time address the challenges brought about by the changing demographic landscapes in the country)," he said.
A two-page Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 40, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on Nov. 14, stated that the said plan of action shall also help accelerate the attainment of the Administration’s socioeconomic development agenda under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.
To ensure the successful implementation of the PPD-POA 2023-2028, the MC directs all concerned national government agencies and instrumentalities, and local government units (LGUs) to support and cooperate.
“In accordance with their respective mandates, all concerned agencies and instrumentalities of the National Government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations are hereby directed, and all LGUs are hereby encouraged, to undertake efforts in support of the implementation of the PPD-POA 2023-2028, and the plans and programs specified therein,” the memo stated. (PNA)