Overpopulation in the Philippines is now a growing concern as the country’s population, the highest in Southeast Asia, is projected to reach 101.4 million in mid-2015.

Hence, the government is prompted to introduce new family planning methods that will help reduce the rapid growth of population rate in the country.

“Right now our population is 100.7 million or 100.8 million. But by mid-2015, it will be around 101.4 million. So the big efforts of the DOH and PopCom will be on the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law this year and part of 2016,” Commission on Population (PopCom) executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said.

Perez stated that they aim to decrease the total fertility rate from three percent or three children per woman to 2.1 percent or two kids per woman.

“We are still the highest in Southeast Asia. Our aim is that each woman will have around two children. That is the replacement rate. And at that rate, the dependency ratio will improve in the next few years,” he explained.

Perez revealed that the government will be introducing “subdermal implants” program for the family planning campaign. It is a flexible plastic rod with a comparable size of a matchstick that needs to be inserted into a woman’s upper arm to suppress ovulation for three years.

If a woman would have this method and would later decide to get pregnant, the subdermal implant can easily be removed.

Both the Department of Health and PopCom will also heighten the promotion of vasectomy methods, tubal ligation and the three natural scientific family planning methods: lactational amenorrhea based on breast milk production, standard days method, and the Billings ovulation method.