Twenty-three (23) Population Program Officers, workers, designees together with their partners from the Municipal and City Planning & Development Offices sat together to train on Population and Development Integration at the Summerplace Hotel in Baguio City on June 23-26, 2015.

Participants from Baguio City, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Abra had a hands on training on the updated Spectrum Projection software to assist them in making accurate population and demographic projections for their development planning needs. Using local population data, participants were able to make projections on population growth, demographic scenarios and development needs analysis with the software. The participants were provided with at least three scenarios that involve retaining the current Total Fertility Rates (TFR) of their area, attaining a TFR of 2.1 children per woman as soon as possible or slowly attaining the desired TFR by 2050. These scenarios present the positive and negative impacts of not implementing the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) in their areas.

The training also utilized the Resources for Awareness of Population Impact on Development or RAPID to further increase the participants’ knowledge and skill of Population and Development integration into their local development plans. Using the RAPID module that is integrated into the Spectrum software, LGUs were able to create projection across the development sectors of Economy, Education, Health, Agriculture and Urbanization. RAPID is a set of indicators in the identified sectors that indicate needs as to resource allocation based on population growth. The module provides an in depth way of looking at the development timeline and the effects of the level of implementation of the PPMP in an area.

To strengthen their knowledge on Population and Development concepts, the participants went on a crash course on PopDev, Sustainable Development and Basic Demography. The integration of PopDev into their local planning processes reinforces the people-centered development that the Commission advocates.

Given the scenarios they projected, participants also presented their local projections on Population Growth and on the RAPID. The participants created timelines using their local data, discussed their own analysis of these projections and its impact to development.

Participants have all shared their appreciation of the software tool as this time of the year coincides with their midterm and long-term planning sessions for their LGUs. Engr. Arnold Guyguyon, Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator for Asipulo in Ifugao, thanked the Commission as he says “this training was given at the right time and such a software (Spectrum) is something they really need in the municipality for their effective planning”.

A second batch of training will be conducted in August 2015 for LGU partners who were not able to participate for this set.