Thanks to Quarantine, Brace for a 2-Million Baby Boom in 2021

COVID-19 has resulted in unmet needs for family planning, says POPCOM.
Photo/s: Freestocks via Unsplash

What do you get when a pandemic forces millions of Filipinos to stay home for an extended period of time?

In the case of married and live-in couples, an additional 214,000 unplanned births in 2021 or a total of almost two million pregnancies this year.

This is according to the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the United Nations Population Fund, which recently "estimated the potential unfavorable impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 on family planning efforts in the country."

The researchers found that COVID-19 has resulted in 3,099,000 women (15 to 49 years old) with unmet needs for family planning, and that a 590,000 increase (19 percent) is to be expected due to the lockdown.

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The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) added that the projected two-million baby boom in 2021 easily eclipses the highest number of births in the country since 2000 (1.79 million). The agency is particularly concerned about teenage pregnancies, which will see a 9.3 percent jump — from 163,000 to 178,000 cases.

POPCOM Executive Director Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said. "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."

“Those are 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.”

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