Beneficaries of the AquaPonics solar - powered system in a photo opt with Mayor Benjamin Magalong (backrow second from right) and BFAR - CAR officials headed by Regional Director Lilibeth Signey ( frontrow left). (CCD/PIA CAR)

Benguet Governor Melchor Diclas, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda and personnel at the TTMF led by Dr. Nora Ruiz leads simple send-off ceremony for six recovered patients discharged from the Provincial Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facility in Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.(photos from Benguet Governor’s Office)

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong commends the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for its Urban Aquaponics project with vegetable and fish production as he assures the city government's support to this project that helps ensure food sufficency and availability. (CCD/PIA CAR)

DA-CAR OIC Regional Director Cameron Odsey with ACT-CIS Representative anf Benguet Legislative Caretaker Eric Go Yap and Governor Melchor Diclas turn over assiatnce to farmer beneficiaries in the province of Benguet , and to DSWD-CAR for the implementation of the Gulayan sa Barangay for Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries and rge Department of Education Benguet for the Gulayan sa Paaralan programon at the Benguet Capitol on August 27, 2020. (RMC-PIA-CAR)

Significant rise in maternal deaths and unintended pregnancies feared because of COVID-19, UNFPA and UPPI study shows

MANILA, the Philippines -- The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted family planning and maternal and newborn health services globally, and in the Philippines to these indirect effects may significantly increase the annual maternal deaths and unintended pregnancies for 2020 compared with the pre-COVID years, a study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed.


“The COVID-19 global outbreak is challenging health systems worldwide, both the supply side (delivery) and the demand side (access) of essential family planning and maternal/newborn health services.  Particularly in low-income and middle-income countries whose health systems are weaker, millions of women may be indirectly affected by the pandemic,” advised Prof. Ma. Paz Marquez, Team Leader, UPPI Research Team on SRH/GBV Estimates.

The UPPI study that Prof. Marquez led, examined the effects of the COVID-19 on Filipino women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health, and freedom from violence.  The preliminary results indicate that the pre-existing underlying vulnerabilities of women and girls are worsening because of the indirect effects of the pandemic.

As the national and local health systems are overwhelmed by the necessary response to the COVID-19 patients, attention, and resources for women’s health might have been diverted.  Pregnant women’s utilization of facilities for ante-natal check-up and delivery is declining, because of service disruption, difficulty in commuting, and their fear of contracting COVID-19.  Similarly, their access to modern contraception has also been facing challenges.

Already before COVID-19, the Philippines saw about 2,600 women dying every year due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth.  The maternal mortality cases in 2020 can increase up to 3,270, which represents almost 670 additional deaths from the 2019 level (26 % increase).

The annual total Filipino women of reproductive age (15-49 years of age) who do not use any contraception though they do not want to become pregnant, can also increase by another 2.07 million by end-2020, 67% increase from 2019.  

Consequently, the total unintended pregnancies in 2020 may reach 2.56 million, 751,000 more than last year (42% increase).

The Philippines unfortunately showed one of the highest rates of adolescent fertility in Asia prior to COVID-19, described as a ‘national social emergency’ last year.  2020 may end up seeing 18,000 more Filipino teenage girls getting pregnant because of the indirect effects of COVID-19, compared to 2019.

Intimate partner violence is also expected to increase, because for instance women and girls are more likely to be stuck with the abusers at home.  Although many of such gender-based violence cases will be unreported, the study estimates a 20% increase in intimate partner violence, physical or sexual, in 2020 from 2019.

These preliminary results of the study were shared during the in-country launch of UNFPA’s global State of World Population Report (SWOP) 2020 and the commemoration of the 2020 World Population Day with the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM).

“The challenge is for both the government and private sector to find innovative ways to ensure the continuity of essential SRH services for women of reproductive ages, such as family planning and maternal health services and social and protective networks even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Prof. Marquez underscores.

Six months have passed since the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Philippines was confirmed in end-January 2020, and the number of cumulative confirmed cases reached 93,354 on 31 July, with more than 26,000 active cases and over 2,000 deaths.  “The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services in the Philippines.  What it has shown is the deterioration of pre-existing inequalities for women and girls. Sexual and reproductive health and rights and freedom from violence are significant public health issues.  Urgent and sustained attention and investment are imminent,” Mr. Iori Kato, UNFPA Country Representative in the Philippines, alerts. 

UNFPA Philippines is appealing for USD 11 million or 541 million Pesos of additional funding as part of the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19, to assist the efforts of the national and local governments and NGOs to respond to the pandemic and “build back better,” leaving no one behind.


For enquiries, please contact:

Ms. Ann Regala, UNFPA Philippines Communications and Media Officer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



  • HPG collaborates with partners to better road safety in CAR

    BAGUIO CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) - - The Regional Highway Patrol Group – Cordillera, in partnership with a Regional Advocacy Council and the Road Safety Marshall Association, calls  for community cooperation in ensuring road safety, which is more of a concern than hijacking and highway robbery in the national roads  in the region.

  • Baguio's Sunday bike run continues to gain support

    BAGUIO CITY, Sept.30 (PIA) ---The City’s regular bicycle Sunday which promotes health and wellness, environmental protection, camaraderie and bike as alternative and sustainable transportation, continues to gain support.

  • Baguio all set to receive VISITA-registered tourists from Reg. 1

    BAGUIO CITY, Sept. 30 (PIA) - - The City of Pines is all set to receive   local tourists   from Region 1 this Friday(October 2) under the  Baguio – Pangasinan - La Union Ilocos Sur – Ilocos Norte Travel Corridor  arranged in partnership with the Department of Tourism(DOT).

  • Cordillerans commemorate 34 years of peace

    National and local leaders, elders, autonomy advocates, and representatives from various sectors gathered last September 13, 2020, in Baguio City to recollect and discuss the deep meaning of the 34th Mt. Data Peace Accord of 1986.

  • Cordi gains new autonomy allies

    BAGUIO CITY – Cordillera gained three new autonomy allies in the person of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., HOR Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, and Committee on Local Government Chair Noel Villanueva as the region celebrated its 34th Sipat Anniversary last September 13 hosted by the Cordillera Regional Development Council (RDC-CAR).


Mt. Province

  • Farmers in ELCAC-identified brgys get livelihood intervention

    MOUNTAIN PROVINCE--Farmers from barangays affected by the issue on insurgency in the province recently received layer chickens and carabaos under the Special Area for Agriculture and Development (SAAD) Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Cordillera Regional Office.

  • Project ‘ESEK’ to benefit 45 farmers in Besao barangay

    BESAO, Mountain Province, Aug. 26(PIA)-- Forty-five farmers in barangay Tamboan in this municipality  are the initial  beneficiaries of  Project "ESEK" which was launched last month by  the Technical Education  and Skills Development Authority(TESDA)  in partnership with the Poverty Reduction, Livelihood and Employment Cluster  of the Provincial Task Force  on Ending Local Armed Conflict.

  • DOLE TUPAD benefits 857 informal sector workers in Mt. Province

    BONTOC, Mountain  Province, Aug. 20 (PIA) - - The Office of Congressman Maximo Dalog Jr., in partnership with the Department of Labor and Labor Employment (DOLE - CAR), provides work assistance to COVID – affected informal sector in the province through the TUPAD BKBK or the “Tulong Pangkabuhayan Para sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantage workers, Barangay Ko Bahay Ko” Program.

  • PDRRMC calls for consistency in observance of minimum health protocols

    BONTOC, Mountain Province, Aug. 9(PIA) – The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council  enjoins the public to be consistent in their observance of the minimum health protocols as the province recorded two new COVID-19 cases today.

  • DENR, MENRO pursue Chico River Cleanup Program

    Following their mandates, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) continues to conduct a massive water cleanup along Chico river within the municipality of Bontoc.


  • Banaue police nagtayo ng bahay para sa maralitang pamilya

    LAMUT, Ifugao, Sept. 28 (PIA) - - Isang maralitang pamilya ang tinayuan kamakailan ng Banaue Municipal Police Station (MPS) ng disenteng bahay sa tulong ng mga ibang police units at donors.

  • Ifugao town bans entry of live pigs, pork products

    AGUINALDO, Ifugao, Sept. 29 (PIA) - - Entry of live pigs, pork and related products and by-products, whether cooked or processed, is totally banned here as a measure   to prevent the further spread of African Swine Fever (ASF)   in the municipality.

  • Institutionalization of MOVE vs VAWC in Ifugao town sought

    KIANGAN, Ifugao, Sept. 30 (PIA)- -The ordinance institutionaling the Males Against Violence Everywhere (MOVE) as a strategy in advocating anti-violence against women and children and appropriating funds thereof to stop rape, domestic violence, child abuse and the protection of women and children in the municipality  is being mulled.

  • LGU-Lagawe locks down 3 barangays for contract tracing

    LAGAWE, Ifugao, Sept. 26(PIA) - - The local government unit here conducts intensified contact tracing activities to abate the spread of the Coronavirus Disease – 19 (COVID)-19 as the municipality recorded its 11th case on Thursday.

  • DA-CAR holds Corn Derby Field Day in Ifugao town

    ALFONSO LISTA, Ifugao, Sept. 22 (PIA) - - The Department of Agriculture – Cordillera (DA-CAR) initiated a corn derby field day at barangay Busilac in this municipality last week attended by corn farmers and other stakeholders.





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