PH Reaches 100-Million Population

October 21, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. designation /ˌdɛz ɪgˈneɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the appointment or selection of someone for a certain title or position
Example: Her family celebrated her designation as the new mayor of the city.

2. out of wedlock /aʊt ʌv ˈwɛdˌlɒk/ (idiom) – refers to people who are not married
Example: They decided to start a family out of wedlock.

3. breadwinner /ˈbrɛdˌwɪn ər/ (n.) – someone who earns to provide financial support to his or her family
Example: The eldest child becomes the family’s breadwinner when the parents are too old to work.

4. forefront /ˈfɔrˌfrʌnt, ˈfoʊr-/ (n.) – a position, part, or place that is the most important or is considered leading among others
Example: Education programs are the forefront of the government’s efforts.

5. exacerbate /ɪgˈzæs ərˌbeɪt, ɛkˈsæs-/ (v.) – to make something worse
Example: A corrupt government exacerbates the country’s poverty.


Read the text below.
The Philippine population reached 100 million, following the birth of an infant girl in July.  

The newborn, Chonalyn [CHAW-nuh-lin], was awarded a designation, naming her the 100 millionth Filipino baby. The title was also given to the other 100 babies who were delivered at the same time as Chonalyn.

Born out of wedlock, Chonalyn came from an unplanned pregnancy. She was born to middle-class parents, with her father, a van driver, as the breadwinner of the family. Though Chonalyn’s birth is celebrated, her family’s poor circumstances also bring light to the difficulties that the Philippine government faces in providing for an overpopulated and poverty-stricken country.

According to the Philippine Official Commission on Population (POPCOM), the country’s growing population brings about several major problems that the government must address. In the forefront are poverty and overpopulation. A large population can greatly contribute to the country’s labor force. But with 25 percent of Filipinos suffering from poverty, it equally generates a large number of people who cannot afford to be self-dependent.

These issues are further exacerbated by the country’s struggle with the use of birth control. At present, its average fertility rate shows that one Filipino woman conceives at least three children in a lifetime.

Despite these obstacles, POPCOM executive director Juan [wahn; Spanish hwahn] Antonio Perez stated that several government programs are prioritizing the poor. These programs include decreasing the fertility rate to two children per woman and monitoring the 100 newborns—including Chonalyn—to ensure they receive proper health services. Plans such as the conditional cash transfer and the universal healthcare are also part of the government’s current efforts to improve the wellbeing of Filipino people in need.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think the Philippines celebrated having a 100-million population?
·         In your opinion, is a 100-million population an opportunity or a challenge? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Would you want your country’s population to reach hundreds of millions? Why or why not?
·         How do you think countries can solve their problems with poverty? Please explain your answer.

October 21, 2014