Contraceptive Use in the Philppines (Results from the 1999 Family Planning Survey)

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Release Date: 

Friday, December 24, 1999


The 1999 Family Planning Survey (FPS) is a nationwide survey aimed at collecting information on contraceptive use in the Philippines in 1999. It is the fourth in a series of annual family planning surveys to be conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) from 1995 to 2000 with funding assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The 1999 FPS results revealed that contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 1998 to 1999 increased for all methods, modern and traditional, except for two traditional methods (calendar/ rhythm/ periodic abstinence method and LAM). Specifically, 49.3 percent of currently married women aged 15 to 49 years reported to have used any contraceptive method in 1999. This is higher than the recorded CPR of 46.5 in the 1998 NDHS due to increased prevalence rate for modern methods (from 28.2 percent in 1998 to 32.4 percent in 1999) and a slight decrease for traditional methods by 1.4 percentage points (18.3 percent in 1998 and 16.9 percent in 1999).

The contraceptive prevalence rate varied by age group. Contraceptive use among currently married women peaked at ages 35 to 39 years (57.4 percent) and was lowest at ages 15 to 19 years (21.9 percent). Three in ten (32.2 percent) currently married women reported using contraceptives in 1999.

Women regardless of age used modern contraceptive methods than traditional methods. Women below 30 years old preferred pill over female sterilization and calendar method while those aged 40 years and over preferred female sterilization and calendar method over pill.

The rate of contraceptive use was higher in urban areas than in rural areas (51.3 percent compared to 47.4 percent). This was due to the higher prevalence of female sterilization, pill and condom use in urban areas than in rural areas (13.3 percent versus 8.2 percent, 13.4 percent versus 12.9 percent, and 2.0 percent versus 1.4 percent, respectively).

CPR varied by region. It ranged from a low of 15.5 percent for ARMM to a high of 63.2 percent for Cagayan Valley. Use of pill and female sterilization were the most popular methods in most of the regions. The CPR for the use of pill was high in Cagayan Valley, Caraga, Western Mindanao, Southern Tagalog, and Ilocos than in any other regions. Female sterilization was more prevalent in Central Luzon, Metro Manila and CAR.

The CPR was lowest among currently married women who are childless (3.3 percent) and highest among those with three children (61.2 percent). However, for women with four or more children, CPR decreased as the number of children increased.

Women with one to six children preferred modern methods to traditional methods. The pill was preferred by women with one to three children (14.3, 18.6 and 17.7 percent, respectively); female sterilization by women with four to six children (19.7, 14.8 and 12.9 percent, respectively). Among childless women and women with seven or more children, the CPR for modern methods was not considerably different from that for traditional methods.

Generally, women with more education were more likely to use contraception. The CPR was lowest for women who did not complete any grade; however, it is worth to note than an increase of more than 20 percent (13.3 to 40.0 percent) from the year 1997 to 1999 was reflected.

Contraceptive use did not vary significantly among women who completed elementary or higher level of education. Women who had at least an elementary education preferred modern methods to traditional methods. For women who had not completed any grade, use of any modern and any traditional method increased markedly (from 6.1 to 22.7 percent and from 7.2 to 17.3 percent, respectively); these proportions however did not vary significantly.

Use of pill is the most popular modern contraceptive method among the poor and non-poor households (50.2 and 75.6 percent, respectively). Currently married women who are 20-24 years old have the highest percentage of pill use among the poor (65.9 percent) while those in ages 15-19 years registered the highest percentage among non-poor. Prevalence of female sterilization increases with increasing age, regardless of socio-economic status. The proportion of poor currently married women, 45 to 49 years old, who have their partners vasectomized is almost four times larger (5.5 percent) than that of non-poor currently married women of the same age group (1.5 percent).

Public sector was the most important source of supply for modern contraceptives in 1999. About three out of four women (74.2 percent) obtained their supplies from a public source. In contrast, only one out of four women (24.4 percent) obtained her supply from a private source. Within the public sector, government hospital, rural health unit/urban health center and barangay health station were the most important sources of supply for modern contraceptives. Only three percent of women obtained her supply from the barangay service point officer/health worker. Almost half (47.9 percent) of condom users reported that their source of supply was the private sector; of which, 39.6 percent obtained supply from pharmacies. More than one-third of men who have had vasectomy had the operation either in a private hospital/clinic (18.3 percent) or by a private doctor (18.1 percent). While of the total women who have been ligated/ sterilized in a private sector, one-fourth or 25.0 percent had the operation in a private hospital/clinic, 1.4 percent by a private doctor and only 0.8 percent availed the non-government organization (NGO).