Child births in Western Visayas down

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Birth registrations in Western Visayas have decreased, according to the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM-6).

POPCOM-6 recorded 91,437 registered births in 2020, lower by 13.12% or 13,811 compared to 2019's 105,248.

Negros Occidental posted a decline of 16.11%, the highest among the provinces and highly urbanized cities in the region. It was followed by Bacolod City (15.69%) and Capiz (12.26%).

On the other hand, Guimaras registered the lowest decrease with 7.95%, followed by Aklan (10.39%), and Iloilo City (11.9%).

"It is indeed good news for every Filipino that the expected increase in births in 2020 did not happen. The anticipated increase in births was based on the premise that couples would have more time together in their homes due to lockdowns," said POPCOM-6 director Harold Alfred Marshall

"On the contrary, they became cautious on matters relating to fertility decisions and more aware of their reproductive and informed choices," he added.

POPCOM-6 attributed the decline to fewer marriages due to limited face-to-face gatherings, women delaying pregnancies due to pandemic, increased number of women using family planning methods, and delayed registration of births due to limited movement of people.

In the national level, the number of registered births was at 1,516,042, lower by 9.45% compared to 1,674,302 in 2019.

The advance anticipation on the disruption on the access of family planning services due to limited movement of the people as an effect of COVID-19 restrictions prompted the health agencies, development partners, and local government units (LGUs) to plan for proactive action and develop strategies to continuously provide social and family planning services to couples and individuals especially to those who have an unmet need for modern family planning.

This was made possible through the mobilization and active support of the population volunteers and health workers in the region.

According to the Social Weather Station's November 2020 survey, unintended or unplanned pregnancies were among the major concerns of most Filipino women during the pandemic. They were also anxious about COVID-19’s ill-effects on their well-being as well as their families, their unborn child, and the country’s overall condition.IMT




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