• Posted on: 23 November 2022

Two decades of aging studies in the Philippines provide better understanding of older Filipinos

As the Philippines transitions to an aging society, research on older Filipinos has become increasingly relevant.

From 1996 to 2018, the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, Inc. (DRDF) have conducted three landmark nationally representative studies on older Filipinos: 1996 Philippine Elderly Survey, 2007 Philippine Study on Aging, and the 2018 Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Health in the Philippines.

The 1996 Philippine Elderly Survey (PES) was the first comprehensive, nationally representative appraisal of the status of older Filipinos. It was the first attempt to analyze the older Filipinos‘ labor force participation, migration experience, social support network and living arrangements, intergenerational support, and healthcare utilization. The PES was a considered a pioneering work conducted at a time when the concept of an aging Filipino population was still a distant reality. It provided early empirical evidence for a better understanding of the status of older people and the aging issues. This early study on the Filipino older persons was spearheaded by the late UPPI Professors Dr. Lita J. Domingo, Dr. Aurora E. Perez, and Dr. Josefina V. Cabigon. They paved the way in establishing aging as an important demographic issue, both for research, policy, and program consideration.

In 2007, with funding from the Nihon University in Japan, the University of the Philippines through the Population Institute conducted another round of aging survey, the Philippine Survey of Aging (PSOA). This updates the 1996 PES and for the first time, added anthropometric measures in the survey.

After 10 years, the Longitudinal Study of Ageing and Health in the Philippines (LSAHP) was conducted by the DRDF with funding support from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia. The LSAHP is the first nationally representative panel study on older Filipinos.

It was through these research initiatives that we were able to have a better understanding not only of the status of older Filipinos, but also develop an appreciation of their important contributions to society. The data and information that were provided by the studies served as bases in crafting policies and programs that ensure healthy and active aging experience of Filipinos in the coming years.

The three reports can be downloaded here: