The Philippines will face a mid-pandemic pregnancy spike with about 2.5 million unintended pregnancies expected to be recorded this year, but this should not cause alarm, Malacañang said on Monday.

A study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the United Nations Population Fund projected unintended pregnancies to increase by 42 percent this year.

“Unang-una po, bagama’t talagang dapat i-plano po ang pamilya, hindi naman po bad news na marami rin tayong mga naging anak,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said.

Roque acknowledged the need for family planning but said there was nothing wrong with having children unplanned.

“Our greatest resource is still our population. So we don’t view the children who will be born as a problem; we deal with them as blessing,” he said.

Roque attributed the pregnancy boom to the lockdowns imposed by the government since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

Now that the government has started easing these restrictions, Roque said he hoped couples could start availing themselves of family planning services.

“Now that we are reopening the economy and there are now only localized lockdowns, I think iyong availability ng mga kinakailangan ng mga nagpaplano ng pamilya will be there again as there have been in the past. Pero ulitin ko po, we welcome these newborn Filipinos as blessings to the country even if we would like to encourage people to plan their families,” he added.

The latest census by the Philippine Statistics Authority, completed in 2015, recorded 100,981,437 persons.

The agency aims to finish its 2020 Census by May 2021. John Ezekiel J. Hirro