Philippines braces for baby boom due to lockdown
The Philippines’ anti-coronavirus lockdown could lead to 214,000 extra babies and the highest number of births in the country in two decades, a report by the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) has said.
It cited a severe lack of access to family planning services, due to the restrictions on movement imposed in March, as the main reason for the anticipated baby boom next year.
“Looking at these numbers, we foresee that because of the restrictions of movement as well as the reduction of access of women and men to family planning supplies, there will be at least one pregnancy for every three women with an unmet need for family planning,” Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, POPCOM executive director, said in a report.
It cited a study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) in saying an estimated 2 million babies are expected to be born in the country next year.
The study noted that more than 200,000 of the births would be from unplanned pregnancies.
Lack of access to family planning services, due to restrictions on movement, cited as main reason.
Perez said the exponential growth in numbers is “just some of the adverse impacts of the community quarantine to the welfare of our families, which further aggravates the situation of the ongoing health crisis.”
The report said 10 percent of births next year will be among individuals below 20 years of age.