January 29, 2023

In July 27, 2014 at exactly 12:06 a.m., the Philippine Statistics Authority projected the birth of the 100 Millionth Filipino baby. The Commission on Population and Development wanted to acknowledge this milestone in our country’s history by identifying symbolic babies born in all provinces and key cities in the country. With this, 81 Symbolic 100 Millionth babies were born and are now being monitored annually by PopCom.
In the Cordillera, PopCom-CAR is annually monitoring seven babies: one in each province and one in Baguio City. The commission keeps track of their progress and development as child-icons for the challenges that we face as a country with its continually growing population.
This year, PopCom visited them again and identified the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on our families in the region.
Benguet’s symbolic 100 Millionth Baby, Severine Heiress Longbuan, was born at the Benguet General Hospital at 12:15 a.m. Severine is the second of three children of Florendo Longbuan Jr., a miner in Benguet, and Jaimee Catgbagan, an ESL teacher.
“Her height and weight are okay, she continues to take vitamins. She is starting to ask questions, very simple questions pero mahirap sagutin,” said her mother when asked on the well-being of Severine.
Her mother said Severine bagged several awards in her moving up and recognition ceremony in June 29, 2020. Aside from being the sixth honor, she received the following awards from her pre-school: Most Responsible, Independent Learner, Achiever in English, Achiever in Reading, Achiever in Christian Education, and Achiever in Arts. She will move on to Grade 1 this coming school year amidst the changing setup of basic education due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Being a teacher herself, her mother acknowledges the problems of trying to cope up with the changes for Severine’s schooling this year.
The symbolic children celebrated their sixth birthday still under a quarantine imposed to solve the increasing cases of Covid-19 infections in the country.
“The birth of the 100 millionth baby in the context of population growth in various provinces and cities all over the country is a strong indication on the importance of the Philippine Population Management Program in pursuing national and local development for the people,” PopCom Executive Director, Usec. Juan Antonio A. Perez III, said.
PopCom is the lead agency in implementing and monitoring the Philippine Population Management Program, which is one of the key strategies in curbing poverty and attaining sustainable development through the achievement of the demographic dividend.
“It is also a reiteration of PopCom’s advocacy through the years that every child should be born wanted, and her/his basic rights on social services such as health and education are ensured for their total development.” Perez added. This is in line with improving rates of child health care and development in the country.
PopCom contributes to the development of children as a sector of the population by promoting responsible parenthood and family planning among couples and families. Local partners and stakeholders are also urged to make sure that population data are a “state of mind” when it comes to planning and targeting of socio-economic programs in all levels of government.
Every year, PopCom together with the provincial, municipal and city population offices visit Severine and the other six symbolic babies to provide support packages and to report updates on their growth. PopCom-CAR turned over a care package consisting of rice, milk, school supplies, children wear, umbrellas, and toiletries on July 31 to Severine at their residence in Pinsao Pilot, Baguio City. It will also visit and update the status of the other babies in the coming days. – Press Release