A baby girl born early today has officially pushed the population of the Philippines to 100 million.

The child, Jennalyn Sentino, was one of 100 babies born in state hospitals all over the archipelago who received the symbolic designation of "100,000,000th baby".

While a growing population means a larger workforce, it also means more dependents in a country where about 25% of people are living in poverty.

The government plans to monitor each of the designated 100 children over the coming years to see if they are receiving the required health services.

Jennalyn's father, 45-year-old van driver Clemente Sentino, said he was grateful for the government aid.

He expressed confidence he could support his child and his partner.

80% of Filipinos are Catholic.

The government has implemented reproductive health laws to provide the poor with birth control.

SInce the law's implementation, about two to three million women who previously did not have access to family planning now do.

Meanwhile, Father Melvin Castro, head of the commission on family and life of the country's Catholic bishops, was quoted by a church-run radio station as praising the ballooning population, as there would be more "young workers" to power the economy.