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Background: Women’s choice of place of delivery has implications on maternal and child mortality. This study aims to provide an updated and detailed comparison of prevalence and determinants of home delivery in the Philippines, and in urban and rural communities.

Methods: Based on data from the 2017 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), we estimated the prevalence of home delivery and determined factors influencing women’s decision to deliver at home. Analyses were restricted to data from 7229 women who were cohabiting or married, and their last-born child using logistic regression methods for survey data.

Results: There remain a considerable proportion of women aged 15–49 years old who delivered at home (17.92%(95% confidence interval (CI): 15.77; 20.30)). More women in rural areas delivered at home (23.53% (95% CI: 20.38, 26.99)) than their counterparts in urban areas (10.72% (95% CI: 8.23; 13.85)); reflecting a significant difference in the home delivery prevalence of women relative to their place of residence. Our regression analyses showed that there isa relatively greater effect observed for the rural population in most of the proximal factors considered including birth order, women’s decision-making power, and emergency preparedness during pregnancy. Wealth index has the most pronounced effect with a significant increase in odds of home delivery among urban and rural women of the lowest wealth categories.

Conclusion: The use of institutional childbirth services remains suboptimal in the Philippines with significant disparities between urban and rural communities. Current strategies therefore need to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to address the complex factors influencing women’s decision on place of delivery. Targeted efforts specific to population groups should also be made to contextualize and co-create health care services and solutions that will motivate them to deliver in health facilities.