National Demographic Survey 1978 (RPFS)

The 1978 Republic of the Philippines Fertility Survey (RPFS) was a joint venture of the World Fertility Survey (WFS) and the Philippine government specifically the National Census and Statistics Office (NCSO, now known as the National Statistics Office or NSO). The WFS was carried out in selected countries by the International Statistical Institute (ISI) with the United Nations (UN) in cooperation with the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).

The NSO, being the national executing agency, of the RPFS was aided by various government agencies particularly the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI), the Commission on Population (POPCOM), and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

The UPPI and POPCOM provided assistance in the actual execution of the project while the NEDA acted in an advisory capacity.

Since the RPFS was an offshoot of the WFS, it has both international and national goals. On the international level (or those of the WFS), these were to:

  1. Provide scientific information which will enable participating countries in the world to describe and interpret their populations' fertility.
  2. Increase the national capacity for fertility and other demographic research particularly in developing countries.
  3. Make analytical comparisons of fertility and factors which affect it in different countries and regions of the world.

On the national level, the RPFS was undertaken to:

  1. Obtain national and subnational data on fertility levels and patterns that are comparable with those of the countries participating in the WFS.
  2. Obtain reliable national and subnational data about socio‑biological variables affecting fertility.
  3. Obtain data that will permit the study of the use and efficiency of and attitudes toward fertility regulation methods.

Persons considered eligible for this study are all ever‑married women (EMW) from 15 to 49 years old who were residents of private households in the Philippines. The study had the barangay as the primary sampling unit and the household as the secondary sampling unit. All EMW's found in the sample households were interviewed.

The country was divided into seven (7) domains or explicit strata representing the urban and rural areas of the three (3) main islands plus Metro Manila. Identification listing and interview of all EMW's in the households were done simultaneously during the survey period.

For this study, 15,000 sample households were required. These were to be obtained from 742 sample areas. However, for reasons of inaccessibility, security problems, lost documents en route to the Central Office, data gathered were from over 700 cluster areas.

These cluster areas yielded 14,747 sample households. 12,742 were actually interviewed for a response rate of 86.4%. The 12,742 households, in turn, yielded 9,609 EMWs. Of this, 9,268 were successfully interviewed for a response rate of 96.4%.

There were 3 levels of questionnaires representing the community, household, and individual. The information gathered with the community level questionnaire was obtained from the barangay or the community leaders, and the other 2 were from the household itself. Data pertinent to the community level questionnaire were transportation and communication facilities, health services, educational institutions, family planning services, and institutional service facilities.

The household level questionnaire contained 4 blocks of information segregating data on identification of the household, data on every member of the household, particulars of dwelling and vital events such as births and deaths between January 1, 1977 to December 31, 1977.

The individual questionnaire had eight (8) sections. Their contents are as follows:

  1. Respondent's Background
  2. Pregnancy History
  3. Marriage History
  4. Contraception/ Factors Affecting Fertility
  5. Contraception Knowledge
  6. Fertility Planning
  7. Work History
  8. Current/ Last Husband's Background