Contraceptive Use in the Philippines (Results from the 1996 Family Planning Survey)

Reference Number: 


Release Date: 

Monday, May 5, 1997


The 1996 Family Planning Survey (FPS) is a nationwide survey aimed at collecting information on contraceptive use in the Philippines in 1996. It is the second in a series of annual family planning surveys to be conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) from 1995 to 1999 with funding assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The results of the 1996 FPS show that approximately one in every two (48.1 percent) currently married women aged 15 to 49 years reported using some method of contraception in 1996. This is lower than the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 50.7 percent in 1995. The drop in the CPR between 1995 and 1996 was the result of a decline in the prevalence rate of traditional family planning methods, particularly those in the category "calendar/rhythm/periodic abstinence method."

The prevalence rate for modern contraceptive methods was found to be considerably higher than for traditional contraceptive methods (30.2 percent versus 17.9 percent). Results from various demographic surveys conducted in the past 28 years reveal that the overall CPR was generally increasing over time, the CPR for modern methods was steadily increasing, while the CPR for traditional methods, fluctuating.

Currently married women in urban areas were more likely to use contraception than those in rural areas (50.7 percent versus 45.5 percent). The higher rate of contraceptive use in urban areas was due mainly to the higher prevalence of female sterilization in urban areas than in rural areas (12.6 percent versus 8.6 percent).

Regional differences in the CPR were large. Regional CPRs ranged from a low of 13.5 percent for ARMM to a high of 59.0 percent for Southern Mindanao. The newly created region of CARAGA, formerly part of Northern Mindanao and Southern Mindanao, exhibited a high prevalence rate of 52.9 percent.

In most regions, modern methods were more likely to be used than traditional methods. CAR and Ilocos, which used to have more users of traditional than modern methods in 1995, now each have a CPR for modern method which is about twice as that for traditional methods.

The rate of contraceptive use also varied according to the characteristics of women. Women with high education were more likely to use contraception than those with less education or no education. This pattern held without exception for women using traditional methods. For women using modern methods, however, college graduates were slightly less likely to be using contraception than high school graduates (a CPR of 31.1 for college degree holders versus a CPR of 33.2 percent for high school graduates).

Women with gainful occupation were more likely to use contraception than those with no gainful occupation. More than half (50.6 percent) of currently married women who were involved in gainful occupation were using some form of contraception compared to 46.6 percent for those not gainfully employed.

The pill remains to be the most preferred method of contraception. The pill was used by 11.6 percent of currently married women, female sterilization by 10.6 percent, calendar/rhythm/periodic abstinence by 10.3 percent, and withdrawal by 6.9 percent. Other methods trailed well behind, with IUD used by 3.7 percent and injectables and condoms each used by 1.6 percent of currently married women.

More than two-thirds (69.4 percent) of currently married women who have been ligated had the operation between the ages of 25 and 34 years. The median age for ligation was 30.1 years. This means that fifty percent of currently married women who had been ligated had the operation at the age of thirty years old.

About three out of four (73.1 percent) users of modern contraceptive methods requiring supply/service obtained their supplies/services from the public sector. The most popular source of contraceptive methods under the public sector was the rural health unit/urban health center (27.7 percent), followed by government hospital (24.3 percent). On the other hand, 23.6 percent of the users got their supply/service from a private sector.

Rural health units/urban health centers and barangay health stations were the most popular sources of supply/service under the public sector for pill, IUD, injectables, and condom. Female and male sterilization, on the other hand, were more likely to be performed in a government hospital.

Among the sources classified under the private sector, pharmacy was the most popular source of pill and condom, while private hospital/clinic, of female and male sterilization, IUD, and injectables. Source: National Statistics Office