FILE PHOTO: Employees pass on a street in Makati Business Center. (ROVIC BALUNSAY / Photoville International)
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Population or Popcom believes that the Philippines’ growing population also contributes a lot to the country’s economic development.
Although alarming, the Commission on Population’s projection that the Philippines’ population will hit 104.2 million by the end of 2016 also presents many opportunities to help our economy get ahead of other economies.
Commission on Population Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III believes that the current population boom will provide a strong labor force for the country.
“If everyone is able to work, then that will be contributing to the economy,” he said. Moreover, this will also attract more foreign investments, he added.
Perez compared the Philippines’ age structure and current situation with those of China’s, which is facing social and economic problems because of its policies on population control.
Last October, China eased its family planning restrictions, allowing all couples to have two children after decades of the strict one-child policy.
The move aims to alleviate demographic strains on the nation’s economy, such as a shrinking workforce and gender imbalances.
“We’re different in terms of the age structure. In China, [their] fertility rate is very low. They have a very small, or relatively small number [rather], of younger people and people in the productive age group who are supporting a big number of old people. In the Philippines, we are opposite,” said Perez.
However, despite the country’s population growth and its contribution to the economy, many Filipinos still belong to the fifth quintile or poorest of the poor.
With this, Perez explained that the government should invest in human capital and development, particularly in improving and strengthening education, health services and job creation programs.
“An increase in population would mean that health services and education for the younger generation should be available. We should be able to give them decent work, access to appropriate education [which] is going to help them in their future work. Those are important areas.”
The Commission on Population Continues to implement various programs on responsible parenthood and reproductive health which help couples realize their desired timing, spacing and number of children in accordance with their socioeconomic, emotional and psychological capacity. (BIANCA DAVA/UNTVNews)