TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- Despite “declining”, Cagayan Valley’s and the national population growth rate (PGR) “should be balanced”, said National Economic and Development Authority Region 02 Director Ferdinand Tumaliuan.
Tumaliuan presented and explained the implications of the 2015 Census of Population (POPCEN) during Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Region 02’s Regional Data Dissemination Forum in closing the 28th National Statistics Month.
In the recent POPCEN, the region has a total population of 3,451,410 with an average annual PGR of 1.27% during 2010-2015. This PGR is lower than that during 2000-2010 which was 1.39%.
However, the Philippines remains as one of the fastest growing countries among ASEAN nations in terms of population, just behind Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia which has a PGR of 2.1%.
Positive and negative
Tumaliuan said the country’s PGR has positive advantages but can also have negative effects if the country cannot provide and sustain the needs of the population particularly the poor.
He explained that the increase in population becomes an impediment to the country’s economic development if there is an increasing dependency burden. Dependency burden occurs when people become economically unproductive.
He added that if this happens, the economic growth can not cope with the increasing population.
He also said that a balanced population growth may increase income inequality, decrease vulnerability to poverty, and increase the level of unemployment.
However, Tumaliuan said that a balanced population growth “can be a driver of economic development.”
He said this enables more workers, attracts investors, and creates a greater domestic market.
Meanwhile, Tumaliuan advised the regional agencies’ representatives in attendance to take advantage of the population growth, especially that of the youth. He said “more young people” may energize the economy.
His suggestion is also in line with this year’s NSM month’s theme, ““Facts and Figures for the Future: Statistics for Evidence Based Decisions towards Ambisyon Natin 2040.”
Look at needs
Tumaliuan told representatives of the regional agencies to look into the needs of the population basing on the recent PSA figure, to plan on how to provide the public’s needs especially on food, education, health, housing, and employment.
He said the 2015 POPCEN figures must be used by regional agencies in their policy making and project designs. “[This] census provides projections for us to anticipate the needs of the population,” he added.
He urged the officials in attendance to conduct further analysis of the 2015 POPCEN.
For example, Tumaliuan said, the Department of Health could use the data in determining the ratio of doctors to patients, planning the number of nurses, and devising upgraded health care services.
The NEDA regional director revealed that the projected population of Cagayan Valley in the year 2040 is 4.76 million. Meanwhile, the Philippines population is expected to balloon up to 141.67 million in 2040. Northernforum.net