Education helping women keep number of children low—POPCOM

Education helping women keep number of children low—POPCOM

MANILA, Philippines—Education is helping Filipino women decide to limit the number of children they would have, according to the head of a government agency keeping track of Philippine population trends and recommending policy.

“Women’s thinking has changed,” said Juan Antonio Perez III, Commission on Population (POPCOM) executive director, on Thursday (July 11).

He said a “very major component” of the paradigm shift was education.

“Women who stay longer in school really become more responsible towards family,” he told reporters after the 2019 World Population Day commemoration at UP Bahay ng Alumni, Quezon City.

He said women’s mindset on the ideal number of children change “because of economic change, educational change.”

In 2016, the Department of Education (DepEd) took note of changes in enrollment rates that showed an increase in enrollment of both male and female students.

Among females, school completion rates in 2016 are 96 percent for elementary while 87 percent for high school.

Perez said women’s fertility plans had improved as they decide to have only three children at most.

“Basically, women are deciding on their own because of their own situations that they want to only [have] at most three children,” Perez said.

According to the National Demographic Survey, the average number of children per Filipino woman fell by half from four in 1994 to just two in 2017. /tsb