Ricobien Jacob, the representative for the 100 millionth symbolic baby in the region, was given a birthday cake and a gift pack for his 5th birthday.

The five (5) 100 millionth symbolic babies in the region turned five on July 27th of this year.

For this year’s celebration, the theme is “Sa Ika-limang taon ni baby, Pagtutulungan tungo sa Maunlad at Malusog na Kinabukasan.” POPCOM provided gift packs based on the babies’ developmental needs. A status monitoring of the symbolic 100 millionth babies was also conducted to determine their health status. The monitoring tool will also help determine the type of support, be it health, social insurance, education, among others, that still needs to be extended to the symbolic babies and their respective families in the coming years.
On his birthday, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM-I) visited Ricobien Jacob Francisco, one of the five (5) 100 Millionth Symbolic Babies in Brgy. Oya-oy, Bacnotan, La Union. Jacob, as what most of his family and friends call him, is a Kinder I pupil in Sagat Elementary School in Sta. Cruz, llocos Sur where he currently resides with his grandparents during school days. His parents plan to transfer him to Bitalag Elementary School, Bacnotan, La Union once he enters elementary.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was drafted among the Regional Working Group members which includes POPCOM, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Statistics Authority, National Nutrition Council, Department of Education, Department of Health, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, PhilHealth, and the Local Government Unit of Bacnotan, La Union to institutionalize the support and commitments for the 100 millionth symbolic babies in the region. The Regional Working Group shall continuously track the milestones of the symbolic babies throughout their life stages, especially in ensuring that their basic physiological (food, clothing, shelter) and psycho-social needs (health, education and employment) are met.

POPCOM identified the symbolic babies across the country last July 27, 2014. This demographic event highlighted the importance of maternal and neonatal health as well as the promotion of Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning among Filipino families. As the 100 millionth babies turn five this year, there is a bigger challenge that the families need to respond, including the aspirations of their children.

POPCOM continues to monitor the status of 100 millionth babies as a reiteration of the agency’s advocacy through the years that every child should be born wanted, and basic rights on social services such as health and education are ensured for the child’s total development.