At the Dr Jose Fabella Memorial hospital 300 proud mothers lie three to a bed, cradling their newborns. With up to 100 babies born every 24 hours here, this is one of the busiest maternity wards in the world.
“Sometimes, during high season, 13 to 16 babies are in the delivery room at the same time,” Arlene Matanguihan, a resident doctor, says. “It’s chaotic but an organised chaos. We can still manage – no baby drops out on the floor.”
The doctors and staff may be proud of their work, but the Philippines‘ birth rate is another matter. With a population of 90 million, expanding at 1.9% annually, many people are asking whether the country can sustain the growth rate.
In the Philippines 90% of the people are devout Roman Catholic and the majority of the population does not have access to birth control methods.