Teenage pregnancy increases-A A +A
Sunday, August 18, 2013
TEENAGE pregnancy continues to be a societal problem not only in Cordillera but in the Philippines.
Commission on Population (PopCom) Planning Officer IV May Cerezo said based on their observation, most of the mothers in the region nowadays are unwed teenagers.
She said the youngest mother recorded in Ifugao is eight years old while Baguio City also has a nine-year-old mother.
In the country, there were 195,662 live births by teenage mothers and 1,113 of these are delivered by mothers under 15 years old in 2009.
In 2010, the number increased to 207,898 where 1,324 are under 15 years old.
Teenage pregnancy is one of the major factors that contribute to the rapid growth of population in the country.
Since 1995, around 24 million Filipinos were added to the country's population. The Philippine's population grows at 1.9 percent rate annually.
Cerezo said the fast growth of population has several adverse effects on economic development, poverty situation, education, food supply, labor force and environmental development.
Meanwhile, the country records a 22.3 percent in poverty incidence in 2012. The Cordillera poverty incidence went beyond the national average.
The region has 22.6 percent poverty incidence in 2012. The province of Apayao and Ifugao had the highest poverty incidence with 59.8 and 47.5 percent, respectively.
Health and population officials urge parents to teach their children the attitude toward sex, marriage and sexuality in order to minimize teenage pregnancy.
On the other hand, PopCom revealed more couples are now aware and are practicing the different methods of family planning.
Cerezo cited an increasing trend in contraceptive use for modern family planning methods with 45.9 percent compared to 2008's 39 percent. She said the 45.9 percent is based on the family health survey (FHS) of 2011.
Cerezo added that based on the survey, pills remain to be the most popular method with 19.3 percent usage in Cordillera, followed by female sterilization at 16.8 percent, and injectables at 6.4 percent.
City Health Office Family Planning coordinator Gloria Dimalanta said the injectable, which is the depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), is being widely used. The demand for the injectable is high, leading to shortage of supplies.
To address the shortage, health officials are encouraging the couples to use other modern methods.
In the country, the FHS shows 48.9 percent of the couples use any method while 36.9 percent use modern method, and 12 percent use traditional method.
In Cordillera, 54.3 percent use any method while 45.9 percent use modern methods.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 19, 2013.