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PSA 1st Data Drop on Vital Statistics for 2022 on 17th May 2022 reveals little due to still incomplete data.
Data is stated to be current as of 31st March 2022. Compared to historical data very few deaths are recorded. Either no-one is dying in 2022, or PSA is still busy encoding and the data is incomplete!
The 2022 vital statistics on deaths, births and marriages was compared against the 2021 data, which is also preliminary and has only been updated with 2021 reports received as of 28th February 2022 (ie. still incomplete, particularly for the last quarter).
Registered deaths reported last January and February of 2021 were still unremarkable and in line with pre-pandemic deaths at 57,614 and 53,107, respectively. Registered deaths reported for January and February 2022 were 41,853 and 1,952; clearly incomplete. No deaths were reported yet for March 2022. The data is too incomplete to allow any evaluation, and I will be looking forward to further data drops.
The PSA provided a comparison on Cause of Death between January and February of 2022 and 2021. Given the incomplete data no conclusions can be drawn other than to note that similar to 2021 ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer were the leading causes of death in 2022.
PSA 2022 data on births is likewise still too incomplete to be useful: 64,007 and 4,080 for January and February vs. 101,283 and 83,898 in 2021. Noting also that 2021 births were lower than historical Philippines birthrates.
Last year it was taking 3 to 4 months for registered death data to be substantially complete; with only small percentage further changes after this point. It was taking 4 to 5 months for registered births to be substantially complete.
Considering that it is now the middle of May, I would have expected the 2021 data to have been more or less complete, with data current at least as of April 30 2022 having been released. It hasn’t been. This begs the question why? Are PSA behind on encoding data due to large numbers of incoming reports? Are there political drivers to delay reporting in case the reports are not optimal?
Our evaluation can only be as good as our data. Without data we cannot tell if the excess deaths noted from March to November of 2021 are dropping off / leveling / or increasing in December 2021. Are they increasing further in 2022? We cannot tell if birthrates are improving or falling. All of this is vital to know. If the cause of the excess deaths is still in effect, I would expect the excess deaths to continue and births to plummet!