Quezon City – Days before the start of the Catholic Holy Week, President Benigno Aquino III, signs Proclamation No. 362 on March 30, 2012 making the 2010 Census of Population and Housing official. While the much anticipated official census report was welcomed by NGOs, it also raised fears.
“We are pleased that the census result was made official and shows us that the 2010 population increased by 15.83 million compared to the 2000 population of 76.51 million.” Benjamin de Leon, President of the Forum for Family Planning and Development (The Forum) said. “But we should look beyond the numbers and think about what this means in terms of provision of services. Each year, 1.7 million more Filipinos will demand and deserve basic services of food, shelter, health and education to name a few.” De Leon added.
Focusing on two basic provisions such as education and health, de Leon pointed out the demand for classrooms and teachers around the country. Less than two months before the opening of the new school year, shortage in classrooms is expected. “With families experiencing financial troubles, there has been an increase enrolment of students from private to public school over the years.” De Leon said
De Leon said that while the census affirms their stance on why they support the passage of the RH Bill, it also confirms their fears that given the current economic situation of the country, the people will continue to feel the effect of a government struggling to respond to a growing demand for basic services. In the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) of 2008, data shows that 8 out of 10 births are done outside a health facility in rural areas. “In ARMM for example where 53% of women have only reached primary education, NDHS data also show that among women in ARMM who have reached primary education, 9 out 10 birth deliveries where done by traditional birth attendants (TBAs) or hilots. Education and access to health are connected.” De Leon pointed out.
The Reproductive Health (RH) Bill is currently pending in both Houses of Congress and among the provisions is the improvement of health services through the deployment of more health professionals like midwives in the rural areas, increase budgetary support for family planning, health facilities upgrading and support to local government units among others.
This is a press release from The Forum for Family Planning and Development, Inc.
For more information please contact Ms. Chi Vallido, 426-5484
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