While acknowledged as an important and neglected health issue, it remains a low priority in most Western Pacific countries due to competing health problems, stigma and poor understanding of the condition .
The Philippines, with a population of approximately 90 million, is one of the most populous countries in the Western Pacific, yet very little is known about the epidemiology of suicide and suicidal behaviour in the country .
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 non-fatal attempts, the most common methods used were ingestion of drugs, specifically isoniazid and paracetamol, or organophosphate ingestion.
Family and relationship problems were the most common precipitants.
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].
While rates were lower compared to other countries, there is suggestive evidence of underreporting and misclassification to undetermined injury.
Recent increases may reflect either true increase or better reporting of suicides.