As the country struggles with a population explosion and the Church's opposition to birth control, one in three newborns in the Philippines is unwanted or unplanned, the government said Thursday.
The fertility rate of Filipino women stood at 3.3 children, even though four out of 10 said they preferred to have only two children, the National Statistics Office said in a statement, citing the results of a national survey.
AdvertisementAmong its findings, the study revealed that 36 percent of all newborn children were either unwanted or "mistimed".
Fifty three percent of births to women aged between 40 and 44 were unplanned, with 84 percent of such births unwanted, it added.
In general, women with a lower level of education and those from poorer households wanted to have more children.
The Philippines population is projected to reach 94 million this year, up by more than five million from the 2007 census count.
The influential Roman Catholic Church, which forbids artificial birth control, has consistently opposed population control programmes. As a result, the government is reluctant to fund family planning schemes.
The survey also found 73 percent of married women would use birth control if it were available, 22 percentage points higher than the 51 percent that did use such methods.
The rate of those wanting, but not having access to, family planning had increased since a similar survey in 2003, it added.