Philippines fears baby boom amid coronavirus pandemic

The Philippines has intensified its family-planning programs on concern that the coronavirus outbreak could result in a population boom. “We saw in the past, during the lifetimes of our parents or grandparents, the significant increase in birth rates after a major adverse event. This is the reason why family planning is even more important,” amid the coronavirus crisis, Commission on Population Development chief Juan Antonio Perez said in a statement released by Bayer Philippines Inc., which is supporting the commission’s program.

The Philippines has a population of 108.7 million people, the second highest in Southeast Asia.

Family-planning programs target communities vulnerable to further deterioration due to unplanned pregnancies. Nearly a third of a typical Filipino family budget is used up for the cost of pregnancy, of which three out of every 10 are unplanned.

“Today, it is more cumbersome to set an appointment with a doctor and go to a clinic. But even in this pandemic, health services like family planning should continue because life goes on,” Perez said.

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