January 28, 2022
The recently concluded Census on Population and Housing 2020 (CPH 2020) revealed that the population in Northern Mindanao has reached 5,022,768 as of May 1, 2020 with an annual Population Growth Rate (PGR) of 1.46%.This PGR is lower compared to the 2015 PGR which stood at 1.68%. It showed an average increase of 73,333 individuals every year. Region 10’s population is 4.61% of the Philippine population in 2020.
High fertility propelled population growth as recorded by the National Demographic and Health Survey in 2017 (NDHS2017) which shows a regional fertility rate of 3.1 children which is higher than the national average of 2.7 children. This means that a Filipino woman in Northern Mindanao is expected to have 3 children within her childbearing years from 15 to 49 years old.
High unmet need for modern family planning (MFP) methods contributes significantly to high fertility level. NDHS 2017 showed that 17.8% of women of reproductive age (WRA) have unmet need for FP. That is, they want to practice family planning, but are not using any method due to various factors including access to FP facilities especially those who are residing in remote barangays. Same study mentioned that most women want less children, but many, particularly the poor and those with low level of education, are unable to achieve their fertility intentions. Only 33% of poor women and 16% of lowly educated women are using MFP methods.
In spite of the increasing number of women in Region X who are currently using MFP methods which is found at 444,543 with a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 35.16% in 2020, it can be observed that the region’s population is still rising.
Another factor which contributes to the high fertility level in the region is the increasing incidence ofpregnancies and childbirth among adolescents 10-19 years old. NDHS 2017 pointed out that Northern Mindanao has the second highest cases of teenage pregnancy among 17 regions in the country. In 2015, births among adolescents is 11,928 or 13.7% of the total births in the region. This has gone up to 12,435 births or 14.0% in 2019.
A growing population increases the need not only for food, shelter, clothing and education but also the demand for health and social services. This calls for an increase in budget for government programs and projects to address the needs of its people and this may weigh down government efforts to increase the economic gains of the country.
In response, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) has employed various strategies in line with the Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning (RPFP) and Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) programs on its efforts to reduce the PGR which includes home visits to women of reproductive health on FP information and provision of FP services. In these efforts, we recognize the sincere cooperation of individuals and couples, and the full support of the local government units (LGUs), media and other stakeholders both in public and private sectors for the effective and efficient implementation of the FP program down to the grassroots level. Having a better quality of life for the Filipino families in every community is the goal of the Philippine Population and Development Program (PPDP).