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Philippines posts alarming growth in teenage pregnancies
PopCom reported that births among girls aged 14 years and below jumped by seven percent in 2019 compared with the previous year’s figure provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
John Moore/AFP

Philippines posts alarming growth in teenage pregnancies

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Almost seven girls aged 14 and younger are giving birth in the country every day, according to the latest findings released by the Commission on Population (PopCom) over the weekend.

PopCom reported that births among girls aged 14 years and below jumped by seven percent in 2019 compared with the previous year’s figure provided by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“In 2019, 2,411 girls considered as very young adolescents aged 10 to 14 gave birth,” PopCom said.

This number translates to almost seven births daily, a three-fold increase from 2000 when only 755 from this age group gave birth, it added.

Popcom noted that it is the ninth year that the Philippines recorded a continuing rise in teenage pregnancies since 2011.

Calabarzon logged the biggest number of births among minors with 8,008, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) with 7,546, and Central Luzon with 7,523.

Other regions that recorded a high number of teenage pregnancies were Northern Mindanao (4,747), Davao (4,551) and Central Visayas (4,541). Overall, the number of Filipino minors who gave birth in 2019 rose to 62,510 compared to 62,341 in 2018.

PopCom executive director Juan Antonio Perez III said the government is prioritizing its teenage pregnancy reduction program.

Perez said PopCom and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) plan to roll out a social protection program for adolescent mothers this year.

“Adolescent mothers, as well as their children, can be provided with social protection, similar to the ones offered to older persons and victims of disasters,” he said.

A whole-of-government approach, he said, is needed to address the problem of teenage pregnancy, which has already been declared a national emergency.

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