September 12, 2022 – National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan was elected as the Chairperson of the Board of Commissioners of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) on September 8, 2022.

The POPCOM is mandated as the overall coordinating, monitoring, and policy-making body of the nation’s population program, including family planning, as it relates to economic and social development. The POPCOM Board governs the agency and is composed of 14 members – 11 coming from the government sector and 3 representing the private sector.

The POPCOM Board’s government representatives include the Secretaries of NEDA, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Public Works and Highways (DSWD), and the Director of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI).

Balisacan emphasized how the Marcos Administration shall mainstream the POPCOM’s priority programs and projects in the country’s medium-term development blueprint, the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028. This ensures that population issues and policy directions are properly reflected and integrated into the country’s roadmap for development. Population policies must be aligned with the overall thrust of the socioeconomic agenda, which includes efforts to recover human capital losses and dramatically improve the productivity of the labor force.

“As the working population grows faster than the total population and our economy undergoes a demographic transition, we must ensure that our people obtain sufficient human capital and are well-equipped with the tools that will enable them to raise their productivity and compete globally. Capitalizing on this shift will help us achieve rapid economic transformation.”

Deputy Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon has been designated as Officer-in-Charge of POPCOM.

The NEDA Chief was elected during the third Board meeting for 2022, which was also the first meeting under the Marcos administration. Secretary Balisacan was the lone nominee for the post, and he succeeded former Chairperson and current UPPI Director Grace T. Cruz.