Davao City – July 27, 2021 marks the 7th birthday celebration of the 100 Millionth Symbolic Filipino Babies.

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Region XI, Department of Health (DOH) XI and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC) witnessed the births of the 100 Millionth Symbolic Filipino Babies on July 27, 2014 when the Philippines hit the 100 millionth mark in terms of population count. Davao Region welcomed the births of the five (5) symbolic babies: Glaiza T. Torcino of Barangay. Lucod, Baganga, Davao Oriental; Jhon Kenneth O. Lamintao of Barangay New Sibonga, Nabunturan, Davao de Oro; Catherine Jane M. Fuentes of Purok 2, Barangay Urban Salvacion, Panabo City, Davao del Norte; Natsumi Kyle S. Magnifico of  Purok 13, Barangay San Vicente, Panabo City, Davao del Norte; and Harrisson Ford C. Butulan of Barangay 76-A Bucana, Davao City.

This year’s commemoration will focus on the theme “Pagpapaunlad sa Pamilya: Tungo sa Matatag, Maginhawa at Panatag na Buhay”. The arrival of the 100 millionth babies symbolizes the growing population and the challenge it poses to the government and the community particularly in ensuring their welfare and well-being despite the limited resources of the country due to the pandemic it is currently battling with.

 

These symbolic children are enjoying lifetime PhilHealth membership which ensures that their health and hospital needs are covered whenever necessary.  Moreover, LGUs continue to provide sacks of rice for the family and Vitamin supplements for the symbolic babies.  The Torcino Family of Davao Oriental is also a beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The five children are currently attending school as Grade 1 and Grade 2 pupils in public elementary schools utilizing the Modular Distance Learning modality.  

 

Parents of the symbolic children practice family planning with Pills as their choice of modern family planning method.  Parents continue to believe that family planning ensures that the needs of  each of their family members are provided for.

 

As the symbolic children turn 7 in the face of this unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic, POPCOM XI will continue to assist in identifying emerging issues as inputs to the development of appropriate policies and programs with the LGUs as the lead partners in the overall development of the children in all stages of life – from birth, adolescence, and adulthood until such time that they can become part of the Demographic Dividend that we aim to reach in the next 20-30 years.

“As the Philippine Population Management Program evolves into the Philippine Population and Development Program (PPDP), the whole Family Development Approach is crucial in responding to the needs of the symbolic children, particularly on health and education especially during the pandemic.” she added.

 “POPCOM XI will continue to monitor these symbolic children to help determine other types of support they may need in terms of health, education and social services. As duty bearers, the respective Local Government Units are also aiming to provide quality of life to the children and their families. We do hope that the families may be recipients of  livelihood showcases to ensure stable income and housing for secure shelter.” said POPCOM Region XI Director Bai Agnes Sampulna.

The birth of the 100 millionth babies is a demographic event which highlighted the importance of maternal and neonatal health, as well as, the promotion of Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning. The 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) indicates that women in the poorest households have more than twice as many children as women in the wealthiest households. Data also shows that fertility increases as household wealth decreases.