A midwife from Caloocan Health Office facilitates the Usapang Buntis during the Family Planning Caravan in Caloocan held in 2019.

The National Capital Region (NCR) has recorded the highest number of live births by place of occurrences at 242,500 live births in 2019, as published by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on its latest report on civil registration.

Of the 1,673,923 total registered live births in the country, NCR has the share of 14.5 percent.  This was followed by CALABARZON with 227,584 (13.6%) and Central Luzon with 189,443 (11.3%) live births. The same three regions also recorded the highest number of live births by usual residence of mothers.

The 2019 Civil Registry recorded the same figure of 191 babies born per hour or approximately three (3) babies born per minute in 2018, but data still showed an increase of .034 percent from 1,668,120 to 1,673,923 live births registered in 2019.

Of the 17 Local Government Units (LGUs) in NCR, the City of Manila recorded the highest number of live births at 61,738 followed by Quezon City with 56,037 and Caloocan with 18,857. These three cities also have relatively high population while the lone Municipality of NCR, Pateros has continued to show lower results with only 1,200 live births.  The registered live births in NCR can be translated to around 664 babies born daily or 28 babies per hour.

POPCOM-NCR Regional Director Lydio M. Español, Jr.  said that the PSA data that showed the high number of live births outside the usual residence of mothers may be commonly attributed to the availability of hospitals and health care facilities in NCR. The City of Manila caters to patients coming from as far as Laguna, Cavite and Batangas while the cities of Caloocan and Quezon accept those coming from the North and Rizal Province.

RD Español added that high fertility poses health risks for both the children and the mother, slows down economic growth and diminishes the opportunities for the mother and the family.

“Given this trend, POPCOM-NCR will continue to partner with local government units in Metro Manila to ensure that women in NCR are protected from unplanned pregnancies through the provision of family planning information and services, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH),” Español said.

In 2020, POPCOM has launched the Family Planning HELPLINE to reach those individuals who were greatly affected by the quarantine restrictions. In NCR, most of the concerns received were on how and where to avail of family planning services. Other queries were on what to do with their expired contraceptive especially when the health workers are already pre-occupied responding to other health concerns, particularly on COVID-19 response. 

To augment the LGUs in NCR in providing family planning services and information, POPCOM-NCR offers the services of POPCOM Family Wellness Clinic in Mandaluyong City as a referral facility where all types of family planning methods are being provided for free.

POPCOM has been assisting DOH in the distribution of FP commodities while the latter focuses on other programs like vaccination for young children and for COVID-19.

Apart from that, POPCOM NCR has been conducting capacity building webinars on responsible parenthood and family planning for health workers, couples and employees of various companies as part of the FP in the Workplace program of POPCOM. ###