July 26, 2021
On July 27, 2014, Northern Mindanao welcomed six (6) out of the 100 babies born past midnight symbolizing Philippines’ 100-millionth mark of its total population. Representing the region of that historical day, the symbolic babies are Juliane M. Cobayan of Cagayan de Oro, Rundy Boy P. Dantes Jr. of Misamis Oriental, Joven Mil R. Carillo of Misamis Occidental, Jessica F. Babael of Camiguin, Renna Mae V. Suquib of Bukidnon and Angelique Eunice Obial of Lanao del Norte.
POPCOM’s Executive Director and Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, MD, MPH once said that the birth of these symbolic babies posed a challenge to the government and communities in ensuring their welfare and well-being, given the limited resources of the country. Over the years, POPCOM through its local population offices have been keeping an eye on the symbolic babies’ growth and development so as to address whatever health development gaps they might be experiencing. Parents of these children also went through counseling about family planning.
This year, as the symbolic children turn 7, the Commission on Population commemorates their birthday with the theme: “Pagpapaunlad sa Pamilya: Tungo sa Matatag, Maginhawa, at Panatag na Buhay.” “Children at seven years old are in the midst of a phase of rapid growth, as their needs also tend to change. It is at this stage of their lives that they need to be monitored closely on their physical, intellectual and social-emotional development” USEC Perez commented. As the Commission’s annual tradition since the birth of the symbolic babies, POPCOM-X scheduled visits to the children set on August 2-6, 2021 to give them celebration cakes and grocery packs as birthday gifts and to assess their overall well-being as well.
Years after reaching that milestone figure in our population, the country has now reached a total count of 109,035,343, making it the second most populous country in Southeast Asia, as of May 1, 2020 based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This translates to an annual population growth rate (PGR) of 1.63 percent from 2015 to 2020. Region X accounted 4.61 percent of the total number with an annual PGR of 1.63 percent.