June 9, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — The aging population of the Philippines does not pose a burden to the economy now, Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom), said on Wednesday.
“That is not our problem now. We have 63 percent of our population of working age,” he said during the launch in a Quezon City hotel of “State of the World Population Report 2022” of the United Nations Population Fund.
Perez pointed out that people 60 years old and above would make up 14% of the population only in 2035.
At the same time, the birth rate is low.
“So we have a window of opportunity between now and 2035 to take advantage of this demographic transition where we have low fertility — meaning, a population growth rate at one percent … the population will still grow by one percent but that could be a manageable one percent, rather than the 1.5 percent that we saw in the last five years,” Perez said.
“That is a window in the next decade that we hope this government and the next government could take advantage of by coming up with the right policies for the Filipino family,” he added.
A demographic transition is the trend of declining birth and death rates that results in a significant change in the age distribution of a population.
According to Popcom’s previous reports, the Philippines’ current fertility rate is 2.5 births per woman. In 2022, it also recorded the fewest number of babies born in 34 years.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Popcom said there was a 9.43 percent drop in the number of births — from 1.67 million in 2019 to 1.51 million in 2020.
An aging population puts a strain on the country’s workforce, a problem that has hounded neighboring developed countries in Asia such as Japan and South Korea.
“So we are in a position to take advantage of this demographic transition, while our neighboring countries are actually getting worried about aging,” Perez pointed out.