PopCom forecasts small rebound in births, lower mortality in 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) predicts a slightly higher population growth in the country this year after recording a dramatic drop in 2021.

PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III in a media briefing on Thursday said they expect a bigger number of births, as he noted more couples are again getting married amid an improving COVID-19 situation.

In January, the commission estimated the country's population growth in 2021 to be at 0.3%, the lowest in 75 years. It attributed this to more couples practicing family planning and more women opting not to have children during the pandemic.

Perez also said they forecast there will be fewer fatalities this year compared to the roughly 800,000 in 2021, when there were staggering death tolls from heart attacks and COVID-19, among other diseases.

However, he noted the increase in population in 2022 would likely still be lower than pre-pandemic level, as a lot of Filipinos remain wary of the health and economic crises.

“We will see a kind of rebound sa population growth natin [in our population growth], but lower than 2019,” he said.

According to Perez, the ongoing trend towards smaller family sizes show that the Philippines is in a process of a demographic transition, which could lead to faster economic growth and improved living standards.

He said this could be sustained by the next administration under president-elect Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. by ensuring an adequate budget for continued family planning programs.

"It's an opportunity for the Philippines, for the new government that we are now in a demographic transition," he said.

"We hope more investments can be made for other population development matters, like food security, madagdagan ang pondo para sa [a bigger budget for] housing…and of course, income ng [of] Filipino families," he added.