For the Record 

Population Boom or Bust?

This article seeks to clarify some issues and concerns regarding the population statistics cited in recent articles published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The opinion column

In her March 15 column entitled, Legislators focusing on the wrong thing, Ms. Belinda Olivares-Cunanan, mentioned in the third paragraph that:

More than anyone, the legislators know the real score on this issue, but they'd rather play blind. During the recent hearings on HB 3773, officials of the National Statistics Coordinating Board (NSCB) showed that the peak of RP's population growth was in the 1950s and 1960s, when the birth rate was over 3 percent and since then it has been going down, so that today the birth rate stands at 1.9 percent. This downward spiral is also confirmed by the UN Yearbook. But the House committee members refused to believe the NSCB people and called them liars. The legislators preferred to believe their own data which seem to have little basis.

The news article

In the March 16 article of Christian Esguerra, Population not booming, says ‘prophet of boom' , the author wrote the following:

Citing official figures from the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB), Villegas said the Philippines ' current population growth rate was only 1.94 percent and not 2.3 percent as claimed by lawmakers.

“These statements about our population doubling are propaganda tools used by population controllers to frighten us,” he said on Monday at a forum organized by the Human Life Internaional-Asia. “All those claims that the population will double in 20 or 30 years–they are statistically false.”

Speaking at the same forum, Valenzona said that at a previous hearing on the measure, the lawmakers summoned NSCB representatives to once and for all settle arguments over the current population growth rate.

“The NSCB representative told them that it was only 1.9 percent, but the congressmen said ‘You're lying!'” she said, adding:

“If you're saying that the NSCB is lying, you might as well close it–or Congress, maybe.”

Villegas also said Filipinos should actually be concerned because the country would register zero population growth by 2025 because of a fertility rate of only 2.1 percent then.

The facts

The NSCB would like to stress that the official figures for population projections are generated by the National Statistics Office through the Inter-Agency Working Group on Population Projections. The generation of population projections is a designated statistical activity mandated under Executive Order No. 352, Designation of Statistical Activities that will Generate Critical Data for Decision-Making of the Government and the Private Sector, issued on July 1, 1996. The methodology used for the generation of these projections was endorsed by the Technical Committee on Population and Housing created by the National Statistical Coordination Board and approved by the NSCB Executive Board. The tables and technical notes on population projections are posted in the NSCB website at http://www.nscb.gov.ph/pressreleases/2004/21Dec04_PR-200412-SS2_03_popnProj2040.asp .

 

Finally, we thank Ms. Belinda Olivares-Cunanan and Mr. Christian Esguerra for their interest in statistics.

For inquiries, please contact Ms. Fe Vida N. Dy-Liacco or Ms. Marymell Martillan at telephone numbered (632) 890 9678 or through e-mail addresses fvn.dyliacco@nscb.gov.ph and ma.martillan@nscb.gov.ph .

 

 

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