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The 2011 Family Health Survey (FHS) results reveal that unmet need for family planning (FP) among married women in the Philippines remains high at 19.3 percent, 10.5 percent for birth spacing and 8.8 percent for limiting births. In the 2006 Family Planning Survey, unmet need for FP was 15.7 percent, 8.4 percent for spacing and 7.3 percent for limiting (Table 1). Unmet need for FP refers to the proportion of currently married women who are not using any method of family planning but do not want any more children or prefer to space births.

Total unmet need for FP is substantially greater among women considered poor (25.8 percent) compared to non-poor women (16.6 percent). In particular, 13.1 percent of poor women as compared to 9.4 percent of non-poor women have unmet need for spacing, and 12.6 percent of poor women as compared to 7.2 percent of non-poor women have unmet need for limiting (Table 2).

Currently married women in ARMM have the highest unmet need for family planning (35.8 percent), specifically for birth spacing (28.2 percent).

As expected, unmet need for FP decreases with woman's age, from 37.0 percent among women age 15-19 to 7.8 percent among women age 45-49. Unmet need for spacing is higher for younger women (under age 35), while unmet need for limiting births is higher for older women (aged 35-49).

Unmet need also decreases with increasing education; it is highest for currently married women with no education at all (29.2 percent) and lowest for those with college or higher education (17.6 percent). Among women who had attained high school or higher level of education, unmet need for spacing births is higher than for limiting births.

The 2011 FHS is a nationally representative survey of about 53,000 households and 53,000 women of reproductive age (15-49 years old) which aims to collect data on fertility, family planning practice, maternal and child health, and maternal mortality. The 2011 FHS is a stand-alone survey and funded mainly by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

These are some of the major findings from the 2011 FHS. Other important findings will be presented during the Data Dissemination Forum on the results of the 2011 FHS on June 19, 2012.


                                                                                                       (Sgd.) CARMELITA N. ERICTA

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