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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cordillera To Address Rising Teenage Pregnancy

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The Cordillera Regional Social Development Committee approved the request of the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM-CAR) for all relevant regional line agencies, civil society organization and local government units in the Cordillera to support the Implementation of measures to address the root causes of the rising number of teenage pregnancies.

POPCOM-CAR Assistant Regional Director Cecile Basawil said that data showed an increase in teenage pregnancies in the Cordillera region from 1,654 births to teenage mothers in 2019 to 2,424 in 2020.

She said that this is alarming since the region already made significant strides to remove itself from the number one spot in terms of the number of teenage pregnancies in the country in 2013. Aside from the health problems it causes, teenage pregnancy also needs to be addressed due to its socio-economic impact.

According to the study by the United Nations Population Fund-Philippines in 2016, adolescents lose an aggregate lifetime earnings of about ₱ 33 billion due to early childbearing. The prevention of teenage pregnancies is identified as a legislative agenda in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 to maximize our country’s demographic dividend.

Basawil added that under the E.O. No 141 s. 2021, the State acknowledges that the root of the rising number of adolescent pregnancies stem from engendered patterns of discrimination, deep-seated norms and attitudes that normalize and justify violence against women and children, lack of information and education, and the vulnerability and exclusion of women and children living in remote and rural areas.

“Girls who are already living in a dysfunctional family and have to spend more time at home as a result of the pandemic and are also more exposed to abuse,” She added.

Further, she stated that the state recognizes that is imperative to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole of government approach in addressing teenage pregnancy. (Joseph Manzano, RPN DZBS Baguio OIC)

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