Baby girl’s birth sees Philippines population top 100 million

The population of the Philippines topped 100 million on Sunday with the birth of a girl called Chanolyn in a Manila hospital.

The baby girl was given a cake, infant clothes and other gifts by health and population commission officers.

She is the daughter of Dailin Cabigayan, a resident of Sampaloc, Manila.

Baby Chonalyn is one of 100 babies born in state hospitals all over the Philippines who received the symbolic designation of “100,000,000th baby”.

They all received similar gifts.

The Philippines government will monitor each of the designated 100 children as they grow up to see if they are receiving health services.

Chonalyn’s father, 45-year-old van driver Clemente Sentino, said he was grateful for the government aid, but expressed confidence he could support his child and his partner.

He and the child’s mother are not yet married.

“She just happened to get pregnant. But we do have plans to get married,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Fr Melvin Castro, head of the commission on family and life of the country’s Catholic bishops, was quoted by a church-run radio station as praising the growing population, as there would be more “young workers” to power the economy.

The United Nations Population Fund said the milestone offers both challenges and opportunities to the Philippines.

It is the world’s 12th most populous country and has one of Asia’s fastest-growing populations.

“It is important to emphasise that population is not merely a matter of numbers, but of human rights and opportunities,” said Klaus Beck, the UNPF’s Philippines representative.

With 54 per cent of its population under the age of 25, the Philippines needs to provide the young with education, job opportunities and skills, Beck said.

Unmet need for reproductive health care, especially voluntary family planning, remains great in the Philippines, Mr Beck added.

About a quarter of the population lives in poverty.

In April, after a Supreme Court ruling, a reproductive health law providing universal access to family planning services was able to be implemented.

The measure had been opposed by the Philippines’ Catholic bishops because it gave access to contraception.


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