An unchanged reality: The Philippines story – AUN News


An unchanged reality: The Philippines story

Source: AUN News

MANILA, Philippines, Aug 03 (AUN News) – In July 2022, the Philippines national elections is witnessing the handover of power from departing President Duterte to incoming President Marcos Jr. This looks like an excellent opportunity to quickly assess the country’s present demographic condition and any recent advancements in the area.

Total fertility in the nation keeps dropping over time, reaching 2.5 births per woman in 2021. According to some startling figures for the Philippines, from 2004 to 2020, 36 out of every 1,000 Filipino girls between the ages of 15 and 19 have already given birth.

Furthermore, half of all births occurred unintentionally at that time. In contrast, it is projected that South-East Asia, including the Philippines, has 1.5 births per woman, whereas the globe has 2.3 births per woman.

The Abortion scenario

Despite the estimated over one million unlawful and dangerous operations performed yearly, abortion is still banned in the Philippines. Anyone who performs or undergoes an abortion faces a maximum sentence of six years in jail. Aside from the Vatican, it is the only nation in the world where abortion is still prohibited.

Although the Philippines is a global anomaly regarding its abortion policy, it is essential to remember that in 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Roe versus Wade. This historic Supreme Court ruling legalized abortion in the country and sparked a flurry of protests.

As a result, several state governments are severely attempting to limit access to abortion.

The “Romeo Juliet” recognition

The Philippine Parliament raised the legal age of consent for sexual activity from 12 years old, the lowest in Asia, to 16 years old in 2021, one of the few recent legislative victories in population. The law includes a “Romeo and Juliet exemption to protect youthful couples.”

Divorce and gay rights

Other parliamentary initiatives have failed to materialize. For instance, despite numerous attempts over the years to legalize divorce, divorce remains illegal in a nation dominated by conservative beliefs and a strong Church, except for the minority Muslim population (8% of the total population).

Only under particular legal circumstances and at significant financial expense can an annulment—an option to divorce—be given after up to four years. To give gay couples in a nation where same-sex marriage is prohibited some legal protections, a civil partnership bill has recently been proposed in parliament. However, there is solid parliamentary resistance to the bill.

Overseas, Migration and economic contribution

Seven hundred ninety-two thousand overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were returned in 2020, a record level, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), due to COVID-related lockdowns and restrictions.

Under this program, which the Philippine government runs, Filipinos are employed overseas on fixed-term contracts for one to two years, mainly in the Arab oil-exporting nations, with the option of renewal.

Positive news

In 2021, the anticipated 10–12 million Filipinos living and working overseas sent US$ 37 billion back to the Philippines, a rise of 5% from the previous year.

The United States, which accounted for roughly 40% of remittance receipts, created jobs and increased wages that directly benefited the Philippines. Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Japan were further significant remittance providers.

India, Mexico, China, and the Philippines are the top four countries in the world that receive remittances. The United States has been the primary source of remittance outflows, with US$75 billion in 2021.

Remittances have proven to be highly robust and a key driver of Philippine economic growth despite the effects of the global COVID outbreak. Remittance flows to low- and the World Bank predicts middle-income nations to increase by 4% in 2022, despite the devastation and uncertainty caused by the Ukraine crisis and the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Philippines nurses

The Philippines has long been a source of nurses for other countries, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the significant exodus of nurses from the country has increased. In the first nine months of 2021, there were 25% more Filipino nurses living in the US than in the same period in 2020.

The departure of Filipino nurses is anticipated to continue and intensify in light of the recent rises in COVID cases in the US and elsewhere in the world.

The Future ahead

The Philippines is unlikely to suffer significant demographic shifts, at least in the near future, given the country’s present demographic trends and future population predictions, and numerous unsuccessful legislative attempts.

In other words, it’s business as usual.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

AUN News

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