Localized campaign needed to stem rising teenage pregnancy cases in Western Visayas

Posted by watchmen
March 11, 2024


The Commission on Population Development (CPD) in Western Visayas is urging all local governments and partner stakeholders to localize the strategies under the Philippine Population and Development-Plan of Action (PPD-POA) 2023-2028.

This came following the report from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on the increase of registered live births among adolescent mothers, or those aged 19 years old and younger, in the region in 2022.

PSA data revealed that some 8,787 out of the 89,901 total registered live births in 2022 were contributed by adolescent mothers, or 9.77 percent, compared to the 9.10 percent data in 2020.

“We have incidences of 10- to 14-year-olds engaging in risky sexual behavior and eventually getting pregnant. It’s gradually increasing,” said CPD Regional Director Harold Alfred P. Marshall during the recent Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN) Sub-committee meeting.

According to the report, the province of Negros Occidental noted the highest number of registered live births among adolescent mothers with 3,305, followed by Iloilo province with 2,390, Capiz with 973, Aklan with 694, Antique with 555, Iloilo City with 382, Bacolod City with 256, and Guimaras with 232.

All provinces and highly urbanized cities in the region showed a decrease from 2020 to 2021. However, an increase from 2021 to 2022 was noted in all areas, with Negros Occidental noting the highest percentage of increase at 20.5 percent.

Marshall further noted that the said concern has been identified as one of the population issues and trends under the PPD-POA 2023-2028.

Because of this, the CPD raised the alarm about concern about adolescent pregnancy and encouraged the “importance of advancing Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) in every local government unit (LGU) as part of the localization strategy of the Philippine Population and Development-Plan of Action (PPD-POA) 2023-2028.”

The Commission also called for collaboration among concerned government agencies and instrumentalities, as well as civil society organizations and communities, in pushing for AHD in the PPD-POA 2023-2028.

AHD is one of the eight key strategic actions in the said plan of action, with five specific strategies.

These include the implementation of Comprehensive Sexual Education in schools and communities, improving access to sexual and reproductive health, preventing sexual violence among women and girls, sustaining programs addressing socio-economic dimensions of adolescent pregnancies, and ensuring strengthened youth development participation initiatives at the community level.

“This will give us some impetus and perhaps imprimatur to come up with our own response in accordance with our respective mandate as a national government [agency] representing that sector,” Marshall added, encouraging PHN Sub-committee members to incorporate population and development (PopDev) initiatives into their respective programs and services.

He also offered technical support to any agency or LGU that may need assistance in identifying PopDev programs based on the mandates of each agency.

To note, the end goal of the PPD-POA is to optimize demographic opportunities, address persistent population issues and challenges, reap demographic dividends, and accelerate sustainable and inclusive development at all levels.

In 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. issued Executive Order No. 40 approving and adopting the PPD-POA and directing concerned agencies to undertake efforts to support its implementation. (PIA-6)

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