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A Primer on the proposed Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood, and

Population Development Consolidated Billby Dr. Roberto de Vera, 11 September 2008

Note: This is a word version based on a scanned file of the original pdf file found in

Please refer to the original file to ensure accuracy of data.

Various groups of Malthusian bent claim that today's high food and fuel prices that are
impoverishing more people are caused by overpopulation. So they propose that it would be
reasonable to stabilize the population through a reproductive health,responsible parenthood
and population development bill that promoteseconomic growth and lifts people out of their

We reckon that their proposal rests on five assertions: 1) Higher population growthleads to
slower economic growth; 2) A larger population means more hungry and malnourished people;
3) Our population growth is out of control; 4) Larger families are poor families; and 5)
Instituting a two-child population policy, through the proposed Reproductive Health,
Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Bill, will significantly reduce poverty.

How does this proposal and itsassertions hold in the face of economic, historical and
demographic evidence?

After examining each assertion, we find that available statistics and

scientific studies do not
support the claim that "too many people" means "more poor people". Bad governance and bad
economic policies, not a large, fast growing population, are the real causes of poverty. Thus,
we recommend that more efforts be placed on improving governance and implementing good
economic policies. More specifically, we havefound that:

1) Population growth has little or nodirect effect on per capita GDP growth. Thus, there
is no basis for a policy that aims to reduce population growth to raise per capita GDP
2) Poverty is usually caused by poor governance and inappropriate and badly implemented
economic policies—which leads to corruption, poor tax collections, lack of education
and roads, lack of irrigation systems —instead of alarge and increasing population.
Thus, instead of having a bill that promotes reproductive health and population
management, we should focus efforts on thegaps in governance and policy
implementation that hinder and slow downeconomic growth.
3) Large families are poor not because they are large but because most ofheads
the of these
poor families have limited schooling which prevents them fromgetting good paying
jobs. Moreover, a 1994 study shows that parents of poor families want the children
they beget. These findings show that there is no basis for having a population
management policy that raises economic growth to reduce poverty.

This paper draws heavily from "Too Many People Doesn't Cause Poverty, Bad GovernancePolicies and
Do" by by Emilio T. Antonio, Ronilo Balbieran, Enrico Basilic, Jovi Dacanay, Roberto de Vera, Stephen
Huang, Maia Tyche King, Winston Stan Padojinog, Cherrylyn Rodolfo, Kimberiy San Agustin, Leandro
Tan, Cid Terosa, Peter Lee U, Bernardo M. Villegas (12 October 2004). The comments and views
expressed in this paper are solely the responsibility of the author and do not represent any position held
by the University of Asia and the Pacific School of Economics.
4) The population history of developed countries shows that implementing a two-child
policy, via the consolidated bill, will place the country in a virtually irreversible course
of population decline and ageing that carries with it all kinds of problems and thus the
country would be well-advised to avoid it altogether.
5) The country's populationsituation—where the labor force is growing faster than the
dependent (youth and elderly) population—gives it a wonderful opportunity to reap a
demographic dividend (a period of rapid economic growth) that wouldreduce poverty
significantly for the next 35 years. Thus, instead of implementing a two-child policy,
NGOs, firms and governments should focus their efforts on providing these future
workers with access to education and training programs which prepare them to take
well-paid jobs and on establishing a stable economic and political climate that attracts
the needed investments that generates new jobs to match the additional 1.1-1.2 million
potential workers each year.
The rest of the paper elaborates on these findings.

Assertion 1: Higher population growth leads to slower economic growth

Economic studies do not support this seemingly logical assertion. Nobel prize winner Simon
Kuznets's pioneering study contained in his 1966 book Modern Economic Growth: Rate,
Structure and Spread (pp. 67-68) showed that "[n]o clear association appears existto in the
present sample of countries, or is likely toexist in the other developed countries, between
rates of growth of population and of product per capita."

Other studies have confirmedKuznets's findings, showing no clear link between

population growth and economic growth (or poverty). Here are the findings of five

(1) the 1992 Ross Levine and David Renelt study of the relationship between growth
and its
determinants found no significant effect of population growth on economic growth;

(2) the 1994 Jeff Kling and Lant Pritchett study arrived at a similar finding where they
allowed the effect of population growth on economic growth to vary according to the level of
development and resource scarcity;

(3) in a 1996 review of the population growth-poverty relationship, Dennis Ahlburg points out
that studies have showed population growth has little or no direct effect onpoverty;

(4) in a 2004 study examining the determinants of long term growth, Gernot Doppelhofer,
Ronald Miller and Xavier Sala-l-Martin, found that average annualpopulation growth from
1960-1990 was not robustly correlated with economic growth;

(5) the 2007 Eric Hanushek and Ludger Wommann study found that total fertility rates, which
can be seen as an alternative measure of population growth, did not havestatistically
significant association with economic growth.

Similar conclusionshave been arrived at by the US National Research Council in 1986 and in the
UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Consultative Meeting of Economists in 1992,

Moreover, th ese stud ie s support Kuzn ets's explanation of why nodirect relationshipcould be
expected between population growth and economic growth. Population growth and economic
growth are linked through "a common set of political and socialinstitutions." Thus, any "direct
causal relation" between them "may be quite limited." Moreover, any relationship that is
measured cannot be used as a basis for managingpopulation to affect economic growth.

It important to note that even if there are recent econometric studies that show that population
growth is negatively correlated with per capita income growth in thePhilippine case (i.e. an
increase in the population growth rate leads to a decrease per
in capita income growth rate),
these studies cannot conclude that higher populationgrowth rates causes Sower per capita
income growth rates. It is more probable that there are intervening factors such as those
mentioned by Kuznets that may causeeconomic growth. Thus,these studies cannot serve as
bases for a policy that aims to reduce population growth to raise per capita income growth.

So if population growth doesn't affect economic growth, what will? Good governance and
well-implemented economic policies. These things usually get done in a climate of
and economic freedom.
in his book, The Ultimate Resource Julian Simon gives evidence for the crucial role political-
economic systems play in economic growth when he compares three pairs of countries that
have the same culture and history and practically had the same standard
before they split after
World War li —East and West Germany, North and South Korea, and Taiwan and China. In
1950, both the communist and non-communist countrieshad practically the same birthrates and
the centrally planned economies had lesspopulation pressure thantheir market-directed
counterparts as measured by population per square kilometer. Yet the economic growth of
West Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan was better than their counterpart centrally planned
economies. Due to faster economic growth, personal incomes in Taiwan and South Korea were
roughly double China and North Korea, respectively while those in West Germany's was more
than 10% larger than East Germany in the early 1980s (see Table 1).

Table 1. Population density, 1950 and real income per capita,

1950, 1980, and 1982 for selected countries*

East Germany West Germany

Population density, 1950** 171 201
Real gnp per capita, 1950*** 2,943 2,943
Real gnp per capita, 1982 9,914
N orth Korea South Korea
Population density, 1950 76 212
Real gnp per capita, 1950 Real 193 193
gnp per capita, 1982 817 1,611
China Taiwan

Population density, 1950 57 212
Real gdp per capita, 1950**** 300 5 08
Real gdp per capita, 1980 1,135 2 ,5 22

*The figures for this table are taken from Tables 34-la and 34-lb in Julian
Simon. 1996. The Ultimate Resource 2. Revised Edition. Princeton, New Jersey:
Princeton University Press, p. 496.
**in persons per square kilometer
***Figures for real gross national product (gnp) per capita are based on
constant us dollars.
****Figures for real gross domestic product (gdp) per capita are basedon 1975
international prices.

Source: Population density: United Nations Educational, Scientific, andCultural

Organization, UNESCO Yearbook (1963, pp. 12-21). Real GDP per capita:
Summers and Heston Data Set (1984). Real GNP per capita: Internationa!
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), World Tables (1980). GNP deflator:
Council of Economic Advisers (1986, Table B-3).

Assertion No. 2: A larger population means more hungry and malnourished people.

On the contrary, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) statistics indicate that the food
supply available for consumption has increased and the historical trend shows it can continue
to outpace population growth in the future. The FAO statistics for the Philippines from 1961 to
2002 show that the food supply available for consumption increased in three categories:
1) calories per person per day: from 1,745,0 to 2,379.3
2) grams of protein per person per day: from 40,6 to 56.1
3) grams of fat per person per day: from 28.7 to 48.4.
These national trends follow world trends. Based on food and nutrition statistics found in
FAOSTAT, the online FAO internet database, we find that from 1961 to 2002, available world
food supply per person has gone up by 24.4% and enough food is being produced for everyone
on earth to enjoy a healthy diet. The FAO reports in The
State of Food and Agriculture 2003-
2004: "Over the past two decades, progress has been made in reducing undernourishment in
developing countries. The incidence of undernourishment has declined from 28 percent of the
population two decades ago to17 percent according to data from 1999-2001."
These trends of food supply outpacing population growth clearly prove Ester Boserup's point
in her 1965 book The Conditions of Agricultural Growth: that it is population growth that
causes increases in food production and not the other way around. Her argument can be
paraphrased as follows: Population growth puts pressure on communities who acquire food
through hunting and gathering, slash-and-burn farming methods, and other inefficient
methods to adopt more efficient ones such asplowing with livestock and multi-cropping. As
populations grow, towns develop and people can specialize in other non-farming production
activities. This is the result of farmers, being pressured by a growing population, to produce
more food with more efficient methods to serve a larger demand.

If the statistics show that food supply is adequate to give every Filipino a healthy diet,
why are
some families still eating less? For instance, FAO's The State of Food Agriculture
and 2007
shows that the incidence of undernourished people in the Philippinesto be 17% in 2001-2003,
iower than the 26% recorded in 1990-1992. The FAO argues in their report Agriculture:
Towards 20 15 /2 03 0 that families that are eating less haveheads that are not able to get good
paying jobs to pay for foodstuffs. Or that they live in poor, isolated communities dependent on
agriculture and are unable to raise localagricultural production to meet their food needs.
In some cases, it may, in fact, besparse population that makes it difficult for people to access
food supplies. This was the case of the famine in Sahel, West Africa in the1970s. Because of
the region's low population density, not enough roads and transport services were made
available in the area. In the case of the Philippines, families need to pay higher prices
food due to
wastages that can be avoided if there were more food processing and storage facilities. Food
prices are also higher due to a fragmentedtransportation system, which is now being
remedied by the roll-on, roll-off (roro) services of the government's Strong Republic-Nautical
Highway project.
Moreover, in his book The Ultimate Resource Julian Simon has shown that in addition to food
supply, the supply of oil, copper, aluminum and other resources have more than kept up with
demands of an increasing population. Simon has shown that amidpopulation growth,
resources have become less scarce (or are in greater supply relative to the technology used to
extract and to employ the resource) by showing that theirprices have gone down over time.
These trends bolster his argumentfirst pointed out by Simon Kuznets, the 1971 Nobel prize
winner: "More people, and increased income,cause problems in theshort run. This increased
scarcity of resourcescaus es prices to rise. The higher prices present opportunity, and prompt
inventors and entrepreneurs to search for solutions. Many fail at cost to themselves. But in a
free society, solutions are eventually found. And in the long run the new developments leave us
better off than if the problems had not arisen. That is, prices end up lower than before the
increased scarcity occurred."
In other words, additionalpersons born in a democratic society mean more minds and hands
to feed additional mouths,shelter and clothe additional bodies, and educate additional minds.
Each additional person is a net producer of ideas and resources. This is proven by history
wherein every larger generation has left the world in a better state for next one. One good proof
of this is that the life expectancy of the Filipino hasincreased from 47.8 years in 1950-1955 to
68.6 years in 1995-2000.

Assertion No. 3: Our population growth is out of control.

Some persons point out that we need to manage the Philippine population because itsimply is
growing too fast for its own good (without clearly stating why). For if we don't, they warn that
the population will reach 178 million in 2036, double the 89 million in 2007. We shouldn't
worry about this at all since this figure is way above the UN high variant projection of 142
million for 2036.
Why the wide difference? On one hand, the 'population doubles' projection assumes that the
1995-2000 annual population growth rate of 2.36% will hold steady for thenext 29 years. On
the other hand, the UN high variant projection assumes that
these growth rates will come down
from 2.08% in 2000-2005 to 1.02% in2045-2050. The latter assumption seems to be a more
reasonable one since Philippine annual

population growth rates have been decreasing: from 3.06% in 1948-1960 down to 2.36% in
1995-2000, Based on the last
census, it has gone down even further to 2.04%
in 2000-2007,
What people don't realize about an increasing population is that it is caused by less babies
dying and more people living longer. Peter Bauer has written: "Clearly, the much-deplored
population explosion,..should be seen as ablessing rather than a disaster, because it stems
from a fall in mortality, a prima facie improvement in people's welfare, not a deterioration."
For instance, infant mortality rates in the Philippines (number of deaths per 1,000 births
between birth and up to age one year)have gone down from 134.4 in 1950-1955 to 34.4 in
1995-2000 and further down to 25 in 2005, Life expectancies from birth have increased from
47.8 years in 1950-1955to 68.6 years in 1995-2000.

Assertion No. 4: Larger families are poor families.

size2 taken from the 2000
This is true. A sample of families that have reached their final family
Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) (published by the National Statistics Office)
indicates an increasing proportion of poor families as familysize increases: from 4.9% in
families with no children to 59.1% in families with sevenchildren (see Table 6).
Nonetheless, it would be poor judgment on our part to use this observation as a basis
for limiting the family size of poor people for two reasons. First, finding that increasing
family size is associated with increasing incidence of poor families does not prove that a
larger family size is what makes a family poor. The more likely reason why some families
are poor is the limited schooling ofthe household head. In fact, 78% to 90% of the poor
households in each family size had heads with no high school diploma (See Table 2). In
other words, poor families are poor not because they are large but because most of their
heads have limited schooling which prevents them from getting good paying jobs.
This finding that poor families have heads that lack schooling confirms theresults of the
2002 Balisacan and Pernia study on poverty incidence in Philippine regions: the provision of
education, hand in hand with roads, helps reduce poverty. In other words, persons can
take full advantage oftheir education only if they have access to jobs that pay good wages
and to markets they pay good prices for the goods they produce. The study also showed
that agrarian reform and irrigation alleviate poverty. This finding makes sense, especially
in regions where agriculture is dominant. In his 2001 paper on Philippine poverty,
Balisacan showed that poverty is mainly a rural phenomenon and nearly two- thirds of the
rural poor work in the agricultural sector.
Table 2. Proportion of families that are poor and proportion of poor families whose heads had
no high
school diploma, by number of children, 2000.*

This sample represents 3.3 million families with zero to seven children whose heads aremarried, aged
40-49 and held a job.. A family is classified as "poor" when its annual income falls below the family
poverty threshold income. The latter figure can be calculated by multiplying the number of family
members by the per capita poverty threshold income. The latter was estimated to be Pll,605 in 2000
and represented the minimum amount of money needed to enable a person to eat enough food that
would give the minimum amount of caloriesand nutritional requirements and to buy essential non-food

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Proportion of families that 4.9 12.5 15.4 22. 35. 42.3 53.2 59.1
are poor (in %) 1 8
Proportion of poor families 90. 84.5 88.9 84. 78. 81.6 83.8 82.1
Whose Heads had no High 5 6 2
School diploma (in %)

*This sample consists of families with married household heads, aged 40-49 and held a job
at the time of the
survey. Poverty incidence was families that earned annual incomes below the family poverty threshold level in
2000 (P11.605 times the number of family members).

Source: 2000 FIES; authors' calculation

Second, finding that larger families are usually poor cannot be used as a basis to
conclude that poor parents cannot control and do notconsider the consequencesof
their procreative capacities. For Lant Pritchett, of the Harvard
Kennedy School of
Government, has found that 90% of the variation in actual fertility rates can be
accounted by variations in desired fertility rates. In other words, parents who have
large families want large families; parents want the children thatthey actually beget.

Assertion No. 5: Instituting a two-child population policy, through the proposed

Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood, and Population Development Bill will
significantly reduce poverty.
Successfully implementingthis two-child policy will not hasten the economic growththat
will reduce poverty because it was shown in the review of the earlier assertions that (1)
population growth has no direct effect on economic growth or poverty and (2)larger
families are more likely to be poor not because they are large but because their heads have
a limited education that limits their access to well-paid jobs. Moreover, implementing this
population control policy will put the country on a practically irreversible course of
population decline and ageing whose consequences we would want to avoid.
For example, slowing down the population growth leads to a situation wherein the share of
persons 65 years and older (i.e. retired workers) increases while the sharepersons
between the ages of 15 and 65 years decreases. This results in fewer and fewer workers
supporting one retired worker and makes it more difficult to finance pension fund systems
in the long run. Moreover, history tells us that government population programs typically
drive fertility rates below the replacement level of 2.1 children per family which means
that the country's population will be declining in the long run. A shrinking population
means fewer minds and hands will be around to find and implement innovative solutions
to the challenges it faces.
Instead of implementing a two-child policy, we should focus our efforts on reaping a
possible demographic dividend—a stage in a population where potential workers support
relatively fewer number of child and elderly dependents—by educating ourpeople for
well-paid jobs and attracting the investments needed to generate theadditional jobs for
the 1.1-1.2 million entrants into the workforce each year. What follows is an elaboration
of this quick review.

Unplanned births are interpreted as the unmet need of women who would use
contraceptives if they had the chance to do so. So, as its proponents argue, by
encouraging a two-child policy and contraceptive access, population management
is designed to meet this need.
Aside from having shown that population growth has no direct causal effect on
economic growth and poverty and that population growth will not remain at current
rates but will actually decrease, the two-child ideal familysize is flawed for three
First, measures of unmet need, which are used to estimate desired fertility and
family size, are unreliable. Lant Pritchett, a development economist at the Harvard
Kennedy School of government, pointed out in 1994 that the figure for "unmet need"
for contraception lumps together all women who might not want a child immediately
and are not using contraception. These women, however, would include those who
may be infertile, those who may be sexually inactive,and those who may have moral
reasons not to use contraceptive drugs or devices even if they were available.
Typically, population management proponents bring up the estimated 473,000
induced abortions done each year as evidence of an huge unmet need for
contraceptives. A review of the methodology shows that it contains at least three
flaws that overestimates the actual number. Using two approaches, we arrived at the
much lower estimates of 25,924 and 20,831 induced abortionsdone annually (See
Appendix 1).
Second, unmet need plays a relatively small role in explaining the actual fertility of
women. Pritchett (1994) found that the "desired levels of fertility account for 90% of the
differences across countries in total fertility rates." In other words, couples have large
families because they want large families. It makes perfect sense, for example,that
Filipino farmers may want larger families because they want more hands to help them in
the farm, as well as children who can take care of them in their old age.
Third, implementing a two-child policy as part of a population management program sets
the country on a course of population decline and ageing that it would want to avoid since
it would be difficult to reverse. Here's why: Joseph Chamie, director of the UN Population
Division, in a paper presented to the Population Association of America in April 2004 says:
"Sixty countries—about one-third of the countries in the world-have period fertility rates
below 2.1; and half ofthose countries have levels of 1,5 orless," Fertility rates below the
replacement rate of 2.1 means that these countries willeventually experience the decline
and ageing of their populations. For example, sixteen countries are projected to lose at
least one million people over the2008-2050 period. Four countries couldexperience
population declines at greater than 10 million:Japan: 33 million; Russia: 32 million;
Ukraine, 13 million; and Germany: 11 million. In the same paper, Chamie presents a
table that indicates that 28 of the 60 countries withbelow replacement fertility rates are
implementing programs to raise fertility rates. Excerpts from newspaper and magazine
articles that give a sample what some ofthese programs are presented in Table 4.
It cannot be overemphasized that the countries currently experiencing below
replacement rates started on this path with a two-child policy. Acting in his persona!
capacity, Chamie concludes in this paper that the efforts of countries to raise fertility
rates will not be enough to bring them back to replacement levels. Thus, the

Philippines should learn from the experience of countries who are now trying to raise their
fertility rates, after using a two-child policy to reduce them, by not adopting the two-child
policy altogether.
Instead of implementing a two-child population policy, we should focus our efforts on
cashing in on a possible "demographic dividend." A chance to reap a demographic dividend
exists when a previously fast growing population decreases its growth rate (it was noted
earlier that the UN projects that the 2.36% annual growth rate in 1995-2000 will go down to
0.92% in 2045-2050) and thus results in the labor force growing faster than the dependent
(thus economically unproductive) population of children and elderly. In other words, the
population is in a phase where the potential workforce (population aged 15-64 years) is
supporting a relatively smaller number of dependents (population aged 0-14 years (child
dependents) and 65 years and over (elderly dependents)). If the proper policies are in place
during this demographic stage, then the expected increase in savings and labor supply can be
harnessed to sustain rapid economic growth that reduces poverty.

Table 3. Total fertility rates (TFR) and population, 2008,

and projected population change,2008-2050
in selected countries

Country TFR 2008 Projected Change

Population (in 2008-2050 (in
millions) millions)
Japan 1.3 127.7 -32.5
Russia 1.4 141.9 -31.8
Ukraine 1.3 46.2 -12.8
Germany 1.3 82.2 -10.8
South Korea 1.3 48.6 -6.3
Taiwan 1.1 23.0 -4.9
Romania 1.3 21.5 -4.4
Spain 1.4 46.5 -2.6
Bulgaria 1.4 7.6 -2.6
Belarus 1.4 9.7 -2.0
Serbia 1.4 7.4 -1.6
Georgia 1.4 4.6 -1.3
Cuba 1.4 11.2 -1.3
Portugal 1.3 10.6 -1.3
Hungary 1.3 10.0 -1.1
Czech Republic 1.4 10.4 -1.0

Source: 2008 World Population Data Sheet

Excerpts of news articles on fertility raising programs in selected countries

Table 4.
A sian economies desperate for '"Our falling birth rate is a cause of great concern,' Singaporeb a b ie s
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said in a recent lunar new
Daily Express News, 2 February year message in which he issued a fresh appeal for his
2004 people to produce more babies."

France offers E800 reward for "The French Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, announced
each new baby last week that a bonus of .800 (£560,$895) will be awarded
British Medical Journal, 10 May mothers for each baby born after 1 January 2004. The bonus
2003 part of a series of measures to encourage families to have
more children,"

"Have three babies" to sustain "Women who are fertile will need to have three children each
the population to sustain the current population of Britain at around 59
Daily Telegraph, 12 December million, the Office of National Statistics says."

Countries play the dating game "When governments start running dating programmes, you
to halt the baby blues know that policymakers are worried about low birth rates.
Financial Times, 10 December Since the late 1990s, Japanese prefectures have been
2003 organizing hiking trips and cruises for single people"

Italy offers cash to boost its "The 2004 budget package includes a one-time 1,000 euros ($1,200)
birth rate payment to Italians on the birth of their second child, a measure set
Reuters, 7 December 2003 torun from December 1 until the end of 2004. ... Mayor Rocco
Falivena (of Laviano) digging deep
into town coffers is offering couples
10,000 euros ($11,900) for every newborn baby."

Have more babies, say the "Women should have more babies to stave off the looming
Tories crisis of an ageing population, the Tories will say today. The
Daily Mail, 22 September 2003 call to 'go forth and multiply' comes from work and pensions
spokesm an David Willetts, who wants couples to send birth
rates soaring."

Child-friendly policies can't The population of Scotland will fall below five million by
defuse a population timebomb 2009, according to a recent article. More worrying than the
Scotland on Sunday, fact the population is getting smaller, is that it's also getting
15 February 2004 older as the birth rate falls significantly. All this suggests
. that by the year 3573, there'll be two people left in Scotland,
probably a married couple in their 90s living in Bearsden."

Seoul to use tax breaks to The government plans to expand tax breaks for families
Increase birth rate with young children and increase support for daycare centers
Korea Herald, 26 August 2003 in order to help working women and boost Korea's falling
birth rate, the Ministry of Finance and Economy said

Why have cupid and the stork "Cupid and the stork flew into Parliament for a scolding
[yesterday as
failed? MPs questioned why Singapore's approach to • get singles to tie the The
Straits Times, 22 March knot and have babies has failed. They [did not hold back their punches
2003 as they called on the Government to relook its policies that have
neither stopped[nor reversed the declining marriage and fertility
rates. And MPs were not short of policies to pummel, wrestling with
issues such as abortion, childcare, infant care and [matchmaking

In address to Estonians, "Worried about a declining population, Estonia's president has urged
President calls on citizens to the country's 1.4 million residents to make morebabies. 'Let us have
more babies remember that in just a couple of decades the number of Estonians
New York Times, seeing the New Year will be one-fifthless than today,' President 2
January 2003 Arnold Ruutel said in a speech broadcast live on national television

Source: Joseph Chamie. 2004. "Low Fertility: Can Governments Make a Difference," A paper
presented to the
Annual Meeting of the PopulationAssociation of America, Boston, 1-3 April2004

We reckon that the Philippines has a 35-year window of opportunity to reap this possible demographic
dividend. Based on the UN high variant projection, the total dependency ratio (total number of
dependents for every 100 potential workers).isexpected to ease from 65 in 2005 to its lowest level of 53
in 2040. Over the same3 5 -year period, the UN projects that the child dependency ratio (number of
child dependents for every 100 potential workers) will go down from 59 to 39. The elderly dependency
ratio (number of elderly dependents for every 100 potential workers) ofsix in 2005 is expected to
increase to a still manageable ratio of 14 in 2040. These
figures clearly show that the Philippines is not
suffering from a "demographic onus" as some people are claiming. Rather, we are actually sitting on
top of a possible 35-year "demographic bonus."
To reap this demographic dividend over the next 35 years, what needs to be done is to educate these
potential workers to prepare them to get good jobs and to implement policies that would attract the
investments needed to generate good paying jobs thatwould match the projected annual addition of
1.1-1.2 million to the potential workforce.

Appendix 1
A summary of "An Analysis of the Estimated Figure of induced abortions in the Philippines in 2000 as
published in a 2006 Cuttrnacher Institute report bySu sh e e fa Singh et al"
By Dr. Roberto De Vera
In the 2006 Guttmacher Institute report "Unintended Pregnancies and Induced Abortions in the
Philippines: Causes and Consequences", Susheela Singh etestimated
al that there were473,000
induced abortions completed in the Philippines in 2000 using a method consisting of three steps. First,
based on reports gathered from2,039 hospitals which contained the top ten leading causes of
admission in the 1999-2001 period, they arrived at an estimate of the number of women in 2000 who
were hospitalized due to complications from both induced and spontaneous abortions. Second, they
calculated the number of women hospitalized for induced abortions by subtracting the estimated
number of women hospitalized for spontaneous abortions (or miscarriages) from the estimated
number of women hospitalized for induced and spontaneous abortions. Finally, they arrived at the
estimated number of women who had induced abortions by multiplying the estimated number of
women hospitalized for complications due to induced abortions by 6 to account for the women who had
induced abortions who didn't go to the hospital.
We find that their method overestimates the figure of induced abortions in the Philippines in 2000
because of three flaws. These flaws had the effect of 1)
overestimating the figure for women
hospitalized for spontaneous and induced abortions due to an assumption that is weakly supported
by statistical data; 2) underestimating the number of women hospitalized for complications due to
spontaneous abortions (or miscarriages) because it mistakenly covers only those

women with spontaneous abortions occurring in 12th to 22nd week of pregnancy who were
hospitalized for complications; and 3) using a multiplier which most likely is higher than the ratio of
the number of women who have induced abortions to the number of women who are hospitalized for
complications due to induced abortions.
Using modified version of the Singh et al methodology(corrected to account for the above flaws), we
arrived at an alternative estimate of2 5 ,9 2 4 induced abortions in thePhilippines in 2000 (1.3 abortions
per 1,000 women in the reproductive age). Using a second method, we multiplied 0.0117, the share of
induced abortions to live births by the number of live births in 2000, to arrive at second estimate of
20,831 induced abortions in the Philippines in 2000 (1.1 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive
age). We consider these two estimates of induced abortion in the Philippines in 2000 to be more
reasonable than the 473,000 estimate (24.5 induced abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age)
published in the 2006 Guttmacher Institute report.

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