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World’s ‘8 billionth symbolic baby’ born in PH

by Jericho Zafra

THE Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) reported Tuesday that the world’s eight billionth baby has been born at the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Tondo Maynila. 

Newborn baby girl Vinice Mabansag, whose mother Maria Margarita Mabansag from Delpan, Tondo, is the world’s eighth billionth baby, according to POPCOM.

Mabansag gave birth at about 1:29 AM via normal delivery.

However, the birth of the eight billionth symbolic baby sparked a discussion on family planning and called both parents and the government to perform their duties for the babies.

“Mahalagang malaman ang mga ways o pamamaraan para magkaroon tayo ng mga strong babies, para maganda ‘yung kanilang pag-develop,” said Dr. Romeo Bituin, Chief, Medical Professional Staff of DJFMH in a television interview.

According to Queenie Amosco, Nutrition Officer II of the National Nutrition Council, parents should undertake interventions that cover “health, nutrition, early learning education, and psychosocial stimulation” in order to ensure the health safety of newborn infants.

“We are not looking at it na parang another mouth to feed but we are hoping and praying that this symbolic baby will be a symbol of development in the future,” said Lyneth Therese Monsalve, Chief Administrative Officer, POPCOM.

“We are looking particularly at the local government units for the possible interventions that they have to give for these babies and the coming babies for that matter siguro in terms of health, education, and housing,” Monsalve said.

The United Nations said according to recent figures by World Population Prospects 2022, the global population was expected to reach 8 billion on November 15, 2022, and India was  likely to surpass China as the world’s most populous country in 2023. 

Earlier in July, the UN also said that the Philippines is one of the eight countries in the world that will contribute to the increase of global population up to 2050. 

The UN also named countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United Republic of Tanzania as the other big contributors in the world’s population rise.

Plummeting fertility rate 

As the world approaches the eight billion population mark, the fertility rate in the Philippines falls.

This was revealed by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Sunday reporting that fertility among adolescents is low in 2022, with 25 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19. It peaks at about 105 births per 1,000 women aged 25 to 29 years old and subsequently declines.

The 2017 to 2022 record was seen as the sharpest decline ever recorded in history according to POPCOM.

Taking advantage

According to POPCOM Officer In Charge-Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon, the considerable drop in the total fertility rate poses both an opportunity and a challenge. Tacardon calls on various sectors to capitalize on low fertility rates to expedite socio-economic development.

“​​Lower fertility also means greater opportunity for personal development of couples and individuals, which can redound to more savings and investments,” Tacardon said in a statement.

Teenage pregnancy

Despite the decreasing number of adolescent mothers, the population commission noted that “a lot of work” still needs to be done to address teenage pregnancies as “numbers are still disturbing.”

Citing the 2022 National Health Demographic Survey, Tacardon said that about 5% of women aged 15 to 19 years old asked during the survey revealed that “they have ever been pregnant.” In addition, approximately 10% of them came from the poorest households, according to POPCOM.

Photo Credit: Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM)



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