January 5, 2021 – The population of Region 2 is projected to reach 5.2 million by the end of 2021, posting a 51 percent increase compared to its population based from the August 2015 Population Census (POPCEN) of 3,451,410.

Among the five provinces in the region, the Province of Nueva Vizcaya posted the highest percentage of increase at 60.08 percent from a population count of 452,287 in 2015 to 724,036 by December 2021. It is followed by the Province of Isabela with 1.5M in 2015 to 2.1M in 2021 posting a 52 percent increase and contributing at least 45 percent to the overall population of Region 2 by December 2021.

Nueva Vizcaya registered the highest increase owing to its high population growth rate (PGR) of 1.29 from 2015-2020 to 1.08 from 2015-2021. Its population is projected to increase by 271,749 with a percentage share of 15 percent of the total population of Region 2.

Meanwhile, the Province of Quirino is second among the provinces with PGR below one (1) percent. Its population is estimated to increase to 250,999 by December 2021 or accounting to at least 5 percent of the region’s total population.

The Province of Batanes has the lowest percentage increase in population size at 6.16 percent in 2020. Based on several census results, Batanes maintained its spot as the province with the lowest PGR with only an estimated 0.71 percent in December 2020 and is projected to decline to 0.591 percent in 2021. Its contribution to the region’s total projected population by December 2021 is only one (1) percent.

The absolute increment in the overall projected population size of Region 2 by December 2021 is 1.7M and this would mean increase in the number of vulnerable population, those below 15 years old and the old age population. It has also an impact in terms of additional requirements for health services, human resources and supplies.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still posing threat to the lives of many Filipinos in the country, POPCOM-Region II Director Herita O. Macarubbo calls for a more wholistic approach in delivering basic social and health services especially to the marginalized groups and the most vulnerable sector of the population.

“We cannot just sit and watch our fellow Filipinos suffer from the impacts of this pandemic. We cannot afford to see women having unplanned pregnancies or lose another young girl’s dream because of teenage pregnancy. As public servants, we should shift our focus from aiming to increase the population for the sake of IRA (internal revenue allotment) or vote counts to reducing unplanned births and empowering every member of the community so they can provide for their own,” RD Macarubbo added. 

POPCOM-Region II has been working with local government units (LGUs) and other population program key stakeholders to reduce the impacts of unplanned pregnancies, unmet need for modern family planning, and teenage pregnancies, among others.#