‘Teenage pregnancy cases in CL declining but still alarming’- POPCOM

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) noted a decline in teenage pregnancy cases in Central Luzon but warns it is still alarming with the incidence of younger girls giving births.

The latest civil-registry statistics for 2019 from the Philippine Statistics Authority revealed that births among adolescent girls remained high in the region contributing a total of 20,974 or 31.27 percent of the total adolescent birth rate in the country.

“While majority of teenage pregnancy in the region is still highest among adolescents 15 to 19, there were also 311 live births or 1.48% coming from very young adolescents aged 10 to 14,” POPCOM Acting Regional Director Maricar Prieto said.

With this, POPCOM continues its initiatives in Adolescent Health and Development in partnership with local government units amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also focuses on the study of various factors at play in the prevalence of teen pregnancy. 

“Empirical evidence gathered suggests the interplay of information and communication technology, poverty, lack of access to reproductive health information and services, ineffective parental guidance, negative peer pressure, and early engagement in risky behaviors are among the crucial factors attributed to the prevalence of teenage pregnancy,” Prieto disclosed.

POPCOM asserts the issue as both a health and development concern as it affects the health and total development of the individual with implications on the family, the community and socioeconomic development. 

“Children born to very young mothers are at a higher risk of diseases and death while teenage mothers who have given birth are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and are restrained from pursuing educational and employment opportunities,” Prieto added.