MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Patrick Roque; License CC BY-SA 3.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pic_geo_photos_-_ph%3Dmm%3Dmanila%3Dintramuros%3Da._soriano_ave._%28near_manila_cathedral%29_-_public_crowd_-philippines--2015-0116--ls-.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Bernard Spragg; License CC0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fishing_Philippines_style.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
The Philippines consists of over 7000 islands in the West Pacific. They are rich in biodiversity but are being systematically overrun by an ever increasing population. The current population level is over 2 times greater than what is sustainable based on the natural resources available.
The growth rate is slowing in conjunction with a declining fertility rate of 7 children per woman in the 1960s down to most recently 2.5 children. Nevertheless the country has been adding close to one and a half million people every year to an already overpopulated nation.
The high population growth rate has worsened deforestation, soil erosion, air and water pollution, mismanagement and abuse of coastal resources, and overfishing.
During his speech during the inauguration of rehabilitation projects at the Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport in March 2021, President Duterte stated overpopulation is hampering the country’s ability to develop and tackle current and future challenges. The President also lamented the government’s inability to implement an effective family planning program resulting in rapid population growth as it confronts a heavily influenced Catholic church presence throughout the country. “If you cannot honor the separation of state and church, then we will not be able to really understand each other,” he said.
In a positive development, women have become more visible in terms of political participation with a steady increase in the number of women elected in the legislative seats and local government positions. However, both Houses of Congress are still dominated by men. At the local level, there are more women chief executives in cities at 78.8 percent in 2016. (1)