Message on the State of the World Population Report
As-delivered by NEDA Undersecretary Jose Miguel R. De La Rosa
19 May 2021, 10:00 AM

To start off the message, United Nations Population Fund or UNFPA Country Representative Dr. Leila Joudane, POPCOM Executive Director Jeepy Perez, our partners from the UNFPA, United Nations Ambassadors, colleagues in POPCOM and the government, our media friends, other development partners and stakeholders, good morning.

We thank the UNFPA for preparing this year’s State of the World Population report. The report’s key findings on the developments on population and demographics across the globe will guide the Philippine government in our population planning and reproductive health programs.

The theme for this year’s report focuses on bodily autonomy, or the right to govern our own bodies. While this concept seems straightforward and inherent, many people, specifically women and minority groups, are denied this right even to this day.

According to the report, almost half of all women surveyed in 57 countries are denied their bodily autonomy especially on issues relating to health care, contraception, and sex.

The Philippines is not exempt from this global issue. Data shows that in recent years, Filipino women, on average, give birth to one child more than they intend. This phenomenon is exacerbated by poverty, as women with less income and lower educational attainment usually have higher unplanned births.

Moreover, there has been an increasing trend in the number of adolescent pregnancies, particularly among women aged 10 to 14 years old. This is an emerging issue that needs to be urgently addressed.

Upholding bodily autonomy is essential in our pursuit for a more comfortable life for all Filipinos. This is why NEDA, POPCOM, and the Department of Health are implementing the Reproductive Health (RH) law and strengthening the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP). Our goal is to provide every Filipino with full access to sexual and reproductive health care services and comprehensive sexuality education, so that they can make informed decisions and exercise their freedom over their own bodies.

Congratulations on the launch of the 2021 State of the World Population report. May we all stay healthy and safe.

End of message. On a personal note, I would like to congratulate UNFPA and POPCOM for yet another milestone event. Being a population worker myself, it’s truly inspiring to see that you still have your champions all over the country, helping us in the program. Please stay on. We have lots of things to do. Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat.