The Commission on Population (Popcom) has officially acknowledged what so many people had predicted as early as March, when the government lockdowns began because of the surging COVID-19 cases in the country.
Thousands of babies will be born around December – nine months from the start of the stay-home orders in March – and in the succeeding months of 2021.
Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III, citing initial studies of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), said an estimated 214,000 babies are expected from the unplanned pregnancies by mothers among the 600,000 enrolled in the government’s family planning programs who were not able to go to government health centers because of the lockdown restrictions and get their usual supply of pills and other contraceptives.
Apart from these 600,000 mothers enrolled in the government population program, there are an estimated 3 million Filipino women who may not be using any family planning method. Many more thousands of babies may come from these 3 million women, Popcom said.
Since quarantine stay-at-home orders were issued In countries all over the world, we can expect the same baby boom in these countries, boosting the world population and more than making up for any losses in human numbers the world may suffer from the still ongoing pandemic.
The UPPI study is useful as the government can start planning early for the time when the pandemic and quarantines and lockdowns are over and the country slowly returns to normal.
There will be hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of new mouths to feed, children with health needs, including vaccines, who will need schools and teachers when the time comes. Further into the future, this expected addition to our population will be looking for jobs. But that will be many decade away. For now, the government may just concentrate on the immediate needs of this expected thousands of babies and their families.
A least 214,000 babies are expected starting this December, the Popcom said, and that is just from mothers in the government population program who were not able to get their contraceptives. The many millions more who are not in any government program will surely boost this number, for which the government and its various institutions must soon start preparing.
=”https://news.mb.com.ph//roni-santiago/” rel=””>Roni Santiago
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