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The Commission on Population and Development Region III joins the global community in the observance of World Population Day (WPD) 2022 with the global theme “A world of 8 billion: Towards a resilient future, harnessing opportunities and ensuring rights and choices for all”.

In the Philippines, the celebration carries the theme “110 Milyong Solusyon Tungo sa Pagkamit ng Potensyal ng bawat Pilipino” to highlight the country’s population of 110 million and its potential. According to POPCOM III-Regional Director Lourdes P. Nacionales, World Population Day underscores the shifting demographics, harnessing solutions for the growing population, and mitigating population downsides.

The yearly celebration was introduced in the country to heighten the awareness of the Filipinos regarding issues, directly and indirectly, related to the rapid increase of population worldwide.

Central Luzon contributes an 11.39% share of the country’s total population, making it the 3rd most populous region with 12,422,172 and a population growth rate (PGR) of 2.17 based on the result of the recent Census of Population and Housing (CPH 2020).

RD Nacionales emphasized that the increase in Central Luzon population is attributed to population

momentum and high internal migration from neighboring areas brought about by the Balik Probinsya program and fertility concerns highlighted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. She further identified Bulacan as the largest and fastest-growing province in the region with its proximity to NCR and its accessibility to other central business districts.

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With the region’s current demographic situation, RD Nacionales emphasizes the numbers and the integration of population dimensions in advocating for measures that put people -their needs and aspirations as the paramount consideration in developing policy and program interventions. “Local government units should have the information it requires to meet the needs of their respective communities and ensure that every individual in their locality can realize their full potential,” she further stated.

POPCOM III continues to advocate and promote the localization of the Philippine Population and Development Program in all the LGUs in Central Luzon. The agency is set to conduct a series of Workshops on PPDP Localization Strategies in support of the local government’s establishment of its respective tailor-fit population and development programs in light of the Mandanas Garcia ruling and in identifying the Capacity Development needs of LGUs in the implementation of a people-centered population program at the local level.

The agency and the LGUs of Central Luzon continue to advocate and work on their respective demographic databases through the Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS) or the Registry of Barangay Inhabitants and Migrants (RBIM) in identifying vulnerable groups for more population-specific interventions.

World Population Day is observed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the lead UN agency whose goal is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

“When people have the power to make informed choices when they can exercise their rights and responsibilities, they can navigate risks and become the foundation of more inclusive, adaptable and sustainable societies” -UNFPA.