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Friday, July 27, 2007

Population Growth Straining Resources

2.36% expansion deemed ‘explosive’

by REINIR PADUA / Malaya, 27 July 2007

THE National Statistics Office yesterday said the population growth rate of 2.36 percent could be considered as "explosive" for a small country like the Philippines.

This growth rate during the period from 1995 to 2000 was based on the last population census in 2000 which placed the population at 76.5 million as of May 1, 2000.

According to the NSO projection based on the 2000 census, the population will grow to 88.7 million this year.

The NSO made the statement at the launching of the population census to be undertaken in August.

The 2007 census is targeted for release in February next year.

NSO administrator Carmelita Ericta said if the 2007 census report will show the same growth rate, "the government needs to step up efforts to support the population."

Dr. Socorro Abejo, officer-in-charge of NSO’s Household Statistics Department, said that based on a "demographic point of view," the support given by the government cannot cope with population growth.

"If the government’s ability to support the population does not cope with population growth, the economic conditions of the families will be affected," she said.

She noted that neighboring countries like Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand have "much lower population growth rates," or below 2 percent.

With a budget of P1.6 billion, this year’s census will involve 37,000 NSO-trained census takers, more than 7,000 team supervisors and almost 2,000 census area supervisors.

Ericta said the census includes not just demographic characteristics but also data on socio-economic conditions like education and occupation of residents, on housing and even temporary relocation sites, and on barangays.

She said data gathering will be done through interviews or self-administered questionnaires.

Ericta said updated information on the size of the population will give government planners, policy makers and administrator data on which to base their social and economic development plans and programs.

She said it also serves as for basis for Internal Revenue Allotment for the local government units; apportionment of congressional seats for the legislative branch; creation of new LGUs; and upgrading of an LGU.

It is also being used by businesses and industries in feasibility studies for existing and planned products and services.

Another related article: CENSUS HELPS GOVERNMENT ALLOCATE RESOURCES AND REVENUES was published in Malaya. Click the link to read full report.