According to Philippine officials, the country has reached a population of 100 million people.
This number is based off of population projections set by the Philippine Statistics Authority, who claim that three babies are born every single minute.
To celebrate, Philippine officials visited Chonalyn, the baby whose birth brought the country to 100 million citizens. Chonalyn was born in a government-run Jose Fabella hospital in Manila, and the officials brought the baby and her family a number of gifts in celebration. Cake, infant clothing, and other gifts were given to the baby’s smiling mother.
However, despite the celebrations, some people are deeply worried by the Philippines hitting this population milestone. They claim that the country’s large population could put a strain on its limited resources.
The large population could pose “a challenge for the government to provide every child the opportunities to live a quality life,” said Health Secretary Enrique Ona.
Ben de Leon, president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development, noted that about 26 million of the country’s 100 million people live in poverty. Increasing the overall population, de Leon warned, would only put more people into a greater level of poverty.
Part of the reason the country is growing so quickly is due to a lack of sexual education, as well as protection. Klaus Beck, country representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), explained that reproductive health care should be one of the main priorities of the country.
In response to the many concerns over population growth, the Philippine government said it would make an effort to help poor people out of their poverty. They explained that beefing up some of their programs, like universal healthcare, could possibly help with this.
Currently, the Philippines is the 12th most populous place in the entire world.