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Maternal & Child Health
Fertility & Family Planning

Key Findings on Fertility and Family Family Planing

  • Bicol, with 4.3 births per woman, is among the regions whose women have fertility higher than the national level of 3.5.

  • Figure also shows that MIMAROPA(IVB) with 5.0 births per woman has the highest total fertility rate among the regions, followed by Western Visayas (R6) with 4.6 and placing Bicol as third with 4.3. On the other hand, NCR showed the lowest total fertility rate (2.8 births per woman).

  • The fertility in Bicol has continuously declined in early 1990s from 5.9 births per woman until the last 5 years by 4.3 births per woman.

  • At the national level, fertility has declined insignificantly over the past 10 years with 4.1 births per woman in 1993, 3.7 in 1998 and 3.5 in 2003.

  • Compared with current fertility levels in Southeast Asia, fertility in the Philippines is relatively high with an average of 3.5 births per woman. Only the levels of Laos with 4.7 births per woman and Cambodia with 4.0 births per woman are higher.

  • In Bicol, median age at first birth of women age 25-49 is 22.4 years, lower than the national median age of 23.2 years.

  • Regional variation ranges from 21.6 years in ARMM to 23.8 years in CALABARZON.

  • In NCR, less than half of the women age 25-49 had a birth before age 25.

  • In the past decade, total fertility rate declined from 5.9 percent in 1993 to 5.4 percent in 1998 and it continued to decline to 4.3 percent in 2003.

  • Likewise, since early 1990s, actual fertility of women in Bicol has been higher than their wanted fertility by two children per woman with 2.4, 1.9, and 1.7 in 1993, 1998 and 2003, respectively.

  • Among women in Bicol, the gap between actual and wanted fertility is two children per woman while a gap of one child per woman in the national level.

  • 64.8 percent or more than half of women in Bicol do not want another child. The proportion is slightly higher for the Philippines as a whole.

  • Western Visayas(R6) with 69.9 percent, recorded the highest number of currently married women who want no more children while ARMM showed the lowest with 30.7 percent.

  • 47.4 percent or less than half of women in Bicol are practicing family planning; slightly lower than the 48.9 percent proportion reported for all women in the country.

  • Davao (R11) with 59.3 percent has the highest number of women who are practicing family planning while ARMM has the lowest with 18.7 percent.

  • The use of modern contraceptive methods in Bicol increased consistently during the decade, as proved by 16.1 percent in 1993, 19.3 percent in 1998 and 23.6 percent in 2003.

  • On the other hand, the use of traditional methods declined during 1993-1998 with 20.2 percent to 17.1 percent, respectively, but increased in the next 5-year period with 23.8 percent.

  • The prevalence rates for modern method in Bicol in 2003 is 9.8 percentage point lower than the national level while, traditional method is 8.3 percentage point higher than the level recorded nationally.

  • Use of modern methods also varies by region. Only 23.6 percent of women in Bicol is using a modern contraceptive method, lower than the national level of 33.4 percent and about half of the percentage of women in Cagayan Valley with the highest of 48.0 percent. ARMM, on the other hand, has the lowest of 11.6 percent who are using modern contraceptive method.

  • If we compare the Philippines to the other Asian countries, 33 percent or 1 in 3 women of its currently married women currently using modern method showed a level less than half of Thailandís which recorded the highest level of 70 percent among the twelve countries.

  • The contraceptive use among currently married women age 15-49 in Bicol shows that withdrawal and pill (15.1% and 13.1%, respectively) are the most commonly used family planning methods. Followed by calendar/rhythm/periodic abstinence (7.8%); female sterilization (5.5%); IUD (2.1%); injectables (2.0%); male condom (0.9%); and other methods (0.9%).

  • Two-thirds of women using modern Family Planning methods obtain their supply from the public sector (which maybe government hospitals, Rural Health Units or Barangay Health Stations); 29.3 percent or about 3 in 10 get their supply from private medical sector; and 2.7 percent from other sources.

  • Pharmacy with 17.2 percent, is the leading source of supply of modern methods in the private sector, followed by private hospitals/clinics, with 10.2 percent and other private suppliers, with 1.9 percent.

  • Women are considered as having an unmet need for family planning if they are not practicing family planning but want to space their next birth or to limit childbearing altogether.

  • Some regions have less unmet need than others. But women in Bicol has one of the highest unmet need for Family Planning. With 23.7 percent, Bicol is third in top three regions with the highest unmet need for family planning. Eastern Visayas is the first with 27.8 percent and followed by ARMM with 27.4 percent. Davao, on the other hand, has the lowest unmet need for family planning with 12.1 percent.

  • Over a span of 10 years, from 1993 to 2003, the unmet need for FP among women in Bicol declined by one third for limiting and increased by a quarter for spacing over the last five years.

  • In 1993, the unmet need for spacing was 12.5 percent, 7.9 percent in 1998 and 10.4 percent in 2003 while the unmet need for limiting was 19.6 percent in 1993, 17.3 percent in 1998 and 13.3 percent in 2003.

  • Over the past 10 years, the unmet need for FP among women in Bicol has always been higher than the national level.

  • In 1993, Bicol has an unmet need for family planning of 32 percent, 25 percent in 1998 and 24 percent in 2003 while in the national level, 26 percent was recorded in 1993, 20 percent in 1998 and 17 percent in 2003.

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