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Official suicide rates are lower in the Philippines than in many other countries in the Western Pacific region , although there is likely to be under-reporting because of its non-acceptance by the Catholic church and the associated disgrace and stigma to the family .As in other Catholic countries, a high proportion of suicide deaths are likely to be misclassified as injury of undetermined intent or accidents .In the Philippines, all deaths must be certified by the physician who last attended the deceased .
A systematic analysis of the possible underreporting of suicides is important so its true incidence and trends can be estimated.
To date, no studies of national trends in the incidence of suicide or the national epidemiology of suicidal behaviour have been undertaken using Philippine mortality data.
Amongst females, suicide rates were highest in 15-24 year olds, whilst in males rates were similar in all age groups throughout the study period.
The most commonly used methods of suicide were hanging, shooting and organophosphate ingestion.The incidence of suicide in males increased from 0.23 to 3.59 per 100,000 between 19.Similarly, rates rose from 0.12 to 1.09 per 100,000 in females.Such an analysis is important both to provide a more complete picture of the size of the problem and to facilitate better informed decisions concerning priorities for prevention such as high risk age/sex groups and popular suicide methods that are potentially amenable to method-restriction policies.Data on deaths from suicide, accidental poisoning, other accidents, and injury of undetermined intent occurring between 1974-2005 were obtained from the Philippine Health Statistics (PHS) produced by the Department of Health (DOH) .Underreporting was investigated by comparing trends in suicides, accidents and deaths of undetermined intent.To provide a fuller picture of suicide in the Philippines, a comprehensive search for published papers, theses and reports on the epidemiology of suicide in the Philippines was undertaken.Each vital event is registered in the Local Civil Registrar Offices (LCRO) , each serving a population of 25,000 for municipalities and 150,000 for cities.The LCRO sends a copy of each death certificate to the Office of the Civil Registrar General of the NSO for processing and archiving [11, 13].Data for the Health Statistics were provided by the National Statistics Office (NSO), which is mandated by the Civil Registry Law (Republic Act No.3753) to register all vital events in the country [11–13].