TACLOBAN CITY – The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) in Eastern Visayas marked the eighth birthday of the six 100-millionth symbolic babies in terms of population count on Wednesday, July 27, 2022.

PopCom-8 Regional Director Elnora Pulma said this year’s celebration focuses on the health status of the symbolic babies through a monitoring tool that helps determine the type of support in terms of nutrition, education, and health services, among others that needs to be provided to them and their families.

“The 2014 demographic event was an institutional reality-check that the country was reaching a 100-million population record,” Pulma shared.

With the population projected to be 110 million this year, the official noted a 1.63 percent population growth rate (PGR) from 2015.

By comparison, the rate at which the population grew from 2010 to 2015 was higher at 1.72 percent. The Census population is done every five years.

“We aim to provide a quality life for the babies and make every Filipino count in the progress and development of the country as the population increases rapidly every year,” she noted.

She stressed that the birth of the 100 millionth babies eight years ago remains a challenge to the government as they are expected to demand an increase in the family’s capacity to provide for the needs of their children.

“As duty bearers of the society, PopCom will continue to monitor these babies as a reiteration of our advocacy through the years that every child should be born wanted, and his/her basic rights on social services such as health and education are ensured for his/her total development,” the official added.

Representing Eastern Visayas’ 100 millionth symbolic babies are Rian Go of Tacloban City; Miller Josh Tondo of Tanauan in Leyte; Blair Catalea Balabis of San Juan in Southern Leyte; Sunrey Abenales of Catarman in Northern Samar; Jody Cervantes of Borongan City in Eastern Samar; and Joven Rey Arsenio of Catbalogan City in Samar.

She assured that said babies are fully immunized, monitored, and their education is maintained under the K-12 curriculum, including their birth certification and PhilHealth coverage. (By Marie Tonette Marticio, EV Mail July 25-31, 2022 Issue)