TACLOBAN CITY- The regional Commission on Population (Popcom) joined in the marking of the World Population Day last week as it issued alarm on the rising number of unwanted pregnancies.
To date, it is estimated that about 30% of the world population growth is due to unwanted or accidental pregnancies.
And in actual numbers, it is about 28 million accidental or unwanted births per year, Elnora Pulma, regional director of Popcom-8, said.
Pulma said that lack of basic sexual reproduction information, adequate family planning, access to birth control, or a combination of the three things were the cited as reasons why unwanted pregnancies continue to occur.
The Popcom director said that the big challenge for the commission is to ensure that policies and programs embrace the well-established benefits of enabling women to choose whether and when to become pregnant- actions and values that are integral to human rights.
Family planning is now considered as a human right as it is central to gender equality and women’s empowerment and a key factor in reducing poverty.
World Population Day, held annually every July 11, seeks to draw attention to this problem as the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is keen on attaining and sustaining unmet need and the urgency of other population issues- mainly, the effects of overpopulation on the world and the current rate of population growth will not be able to be sustained into the future.
In the Philippines, from 105.53 million in 2017, the country’s population will rise to 107.19 million by the end of 2018, citing projections by the Philippine Statistics Authority based on the latest census in 2015.
The increase would be boosted by some 1.8 million babies expected to be born this year, representing a growth rate of 1.69 percent.