The University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) has always played an active role in the endeavors of the Philippine Population Association (PPA), serving as PPA’s secretariat. As one of the five institutional members of PPA and being a prime institution that takes pride in its extensive research on population, UPPI joined the 2015 PPA Scientific Conference held on January 29-30, 2015 at the Seda Abreeza Hotel in Davao City. Pre-conference lectures were also conducted on January 28 at the Ateneo de Davao University in collaboration with its Migration Research Center, with Dr. Josefina N. Natividad and Dr. Elma P. Laguna giving the first lecture on journal article writing. Succeeding discourses on the same day covered topics on public health research for post-emergency stabilization, research ethics and participatory mapping. The conference, aptly themed Population in Humanitarian Crises in view of the calamities and disasters that have recurrently tested the resilience of the Filipino people, was well-attended by demographers and population-related practitioners as well as people from private centers engaged in population and population-related activities.
The UPPI faculty was in full force in sharing their expertise as presenters, speakers, and discussants in various panels of the conference and as organizers of relevant affairs in the months leading to it. Speaking in different parallel sessions to present their respective papers were Dr. Josefina N. Natividad (Youth Attitudes on Abortion, Premarital Sex, Contraception and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Does Religious Affliation Matter?), Dr. Maria Midea Kabamalan (Non-Marriage among the Youth), Dr. Arnisson Andre Ortega (Examining Overseas Labor Intentions of Filipino Youth), Dr. Nimfa B. Ogena (Does Wanting the Pregnancy Matter in Availing of Antenatal, Delivery, and Postnatal Services by Adolescent Mothers in the Philippines?), Prof. Maria Paz N. Marquez (Unintended Pregnancies and Prenatal, Delivery and Postnatal Outcomes among Young Women in the Philippines), and Dr. Elma P. Laguna (Teenage Fertility: Choice or Happenstance?). Ms. Christian Joy Cruz, University Researcher at the UPPI, also presented a paper on The Transpinays: Historical, Socio-Cultural, and Legal Contexts.
Graduate students from the UPPI likewise took advantage of the opportunity to showcase the application of what they learn from UPPI, gather expert pieces of advice, provide assistance, and gain practical insights from the whole experience. Among the paper presenters were Plenee Grace Castillo (Adult Life Situations of Filipino Women who have Experienced Teenage Childbearing), Johanna Marie Astrid Acielo (Engaging the Field: Unveiling the Complexities of the Peri-Urbanization of Manila’s Fringe through Ethnographic Accounts), and Maria Celeste Hermida (Identifying Poor Households in Metro Manila Using Housing Variables from Census Data). Exhibiting their posters were Johanna Marie Astrid Acielo (Exploring Fertility and Environment: An Initial Exploration of the Linkage between Fertility, Climate Factors, and Natural Disaster Occurrence in Las Navas and San Roque of Northern Samar from 1980 to 2010), Chrisiel Arabit (Family Dynamics and Depression: The Filipino Youth in Crisis), Ronell Bequillo (Unprepared and Unprotected: Contraceptive Use in the Sexual Initiation of the Filipino Youth), Rea Jean Tabaco with Dr. Maria Midea Kabamalan (Strengths and Weaknesses of CAPI-Collected Data: The Case of HPM Household Surveys in Yolanda-Affected Areas), and Josua Mariano, Roxanne Tabor and Raison Arobinto (2010 Mortality Measures in Western Visayas: Infant Mortality Rates and Maternal Mortality Ratios).
In the Migration and Urbanization panel in which contributing presenters were current and former students of UPPI, Dr. Mercedes B. Concepcion, the first dean of UPPI and one of the pioneers of population and development programs in the Philippines, expressed her approval and optimism that young scholars are being trained to take the lead in the next generation of demography and studies related to population.
While there were 20 participants coming from UPPI alone, in attendance at the conference were 189 local and foreign experts from various disciplines who are interested in the issue of humanitarian crises.