POPCOM 7 official: Effective population management, key factor for national agricultural plans

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - CDN Digital Multimedia Reporter | July 28,2022 - 12:09 PM

Atty. Bruce Ragas, Commission on Population and Development in Central Visayas (POPCOM-7) director. | CDN Digital file foto

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A top official of the Commission on Population and Development in Central Visayas (POPCOM-7)  said effective population management is essential to achieving the present national administration’s agriculture and food security plans for the country.

Lawyer Bruce Ragas, POPCOM-7 director, said during a news media forum earlier this week that the country should do a “balancing act” between managing the population growth of the Philippines and agricultural planning.

“Mao na ang dakong challenge kaayo nato sa atoang population karon in terms of pursuing the bias of this present administration towards the development of the agricultural sector, is also to temper and balance our management on population side,” Ragas said.

Ragas, quoting the 2020 Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) Population and Household census, said the country’s population has already reached 110 million Filipinos–constituting an annual growth rate of 1.3 percent.

Ragas, however, said the 2020 annual population growth rate is slightly lower than that of the country’s growth rate in 2015, which was at 1.7 percent.

With the country’s current base population at 110 million Filipinos, he said, the current growth rate signifies that about one million persons are added to the country’s population annually.

Ragas also said that of the 2020 Philippine population, Central Visayas has a population of 8 million.

“Naa ta ana sa seven percent of the national figure, maoy atong gi-contribute ana. The Central Visayas has a figure of 8,081,000 or 8.1 million and our growth rate is much higher than the national figure because Central Visayas is growing. From 2015, we are growing 1.8 (percent) sa atoang population,” he said.

Ragas also noted that of the four provinces in Central Visayas, Cebu Province has the greatest portion of the population because Cebu Province has around 3.3 million inhabitants–with Siquijor having the lowest number of population.

“Mao na karon nga we are presenting the administration of this figure as part of the agenda that the present President will be crafting towards, especially that we heard sa iyang SONA nga ang dako jud kaayo niya nga bias mao ang sector sa agriculture,” he said.

“We might be happy for a fact that we have lowered our annual growth rate on population, but in terms of comparing it with our Southeast Asian neighbors, Vietnam, for example, and Malaysia, who are top producers of rice, kung tan-awon nato ang ilang population growth rate, less than one percent,” he added.

He said the factor of population growth of these countries have been managed well, contributing to their capability to export rice.

Ragas also said that he hoped for a strong government will and support on the promotion of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP), which is the Commission’s flagship program.

He said that the President’s concurrent position as the DA secretary gives him a significant edge in policy direction.

The DA is a member of the POPCOM board of commissioners.

“We are hoping that this will be a venue that we can send this message also to the President that aside from developing the agricultural sector, which is very good, that we should also, on the other hand, manage well the number of our consumers. There will be a balancing act,” he said.

Ragas said any national support for the program will be channeled to the local government units.

Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning were the basic program of the PPMP.

/bmjo

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TAGS: 2020 Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA), Cebu Daily News, Commission on Population and Development in Central Visayas (POPCOM-7), current growth rate, Department of Agriculture, Jr., Philippine Population Management Program, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos

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