Scores of surveys completed by Filipino members during the past week indicate significant, long-term improvements in member activity rates in the Philippines. Local reports indicate that most wards generally have between 100 and 300 active members, with many wards currently reporting at least 200 members in attendance. This is a significant finding as the number of active members in many Filipino wards is becoming more consistent with the Church in countries where the Church exhibits greater self-sufficiency in leadership and church administration such as the United States and western Canada. Many branches in districts also reported significant improvements in church attendance. Some members state that meetinghouses are unable to adequately accommodate those who attend sacrament meeting services, resulting in some members standing in the back of the chapel due to a lack of seats.
The Church in the Philippines reported that sacrament meeting attendance has steadily increased within the past five years. Sacrament meeting attendance totaled more than 125,000 in late 2013, indicating that the average ward or branch had 109 people in attendance. In contrast, the Church reported nearly 116,000 attending church services in late 2011. However, the average ward or branch had 599 members on its records in 2013 (e.g. total church membership divided by the number of congregations). Thus, no more than 20% of LDS membership in the Philippines appeared to regularly attend church at the time. By late 2015, the Church in the Philippines indicated that sacrament meeting attendance had reached 146,000 - a 26% increase within the past four years. In contrast, LDS membership increased by 10% during this four-year period. These most recent numbers suggest that significant improvements in member activity have occurred within recent years. The average ward or branch in late 2015 had 121 people in attendance. Thus, member activity rates in the Philippines may have slightly increased to as high as 22-24% at present given these sustained recent improvements in sacrament meeting attendance statistics reported by the area presidency and the results of recent surveys completed by local members. More information from the area presidency can be found here.
It is also interesting to note that the Church in the Philippines used to experience high member activity and convert retention rates. During the mid-1970s, the Church in the Philippines appeared to experience activity rate well over 50%. Attendance at some major meetings with church leaders nearly equaled the number of church-reported membership for the Philippines at the time. However, decades of quick-baptism tactics and leadership development problems between the 1980s and 2000s have posed significant challenges for sustaining growth and maintaining acceptable convert retention and member activity rates. These recent developments for the Church in the Philippines indicate that significant improvements in member activity and convert retention rates are possible even in nations with low member activity and convert retention rates, especially if mission and area leaders sustain the needed vision and motivation to help these efforts succeed. However, progress to improve activity rates are often slow, especially in a nation like the Philippines where there are a three-quarters of a million members and comparatively few convert baptisms.