Teen pregnancy alarming

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Friday, July 11, 2014


CORDILLERA Administrative Region (CAR) has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country.

This was according to a 2013 Young Adult and Fertility Study conducted by the University of the Philippines Population Institute.

Findings of the study showed one out of five women, 15-19 years old, already expects a child but still unready to handle the rigors of being a mother.

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Even with the different programs of the Commission on Population-CAR to address this problem among the youth, the region is still challenged.

Since the youger generations nowadays are exposed to technology at its peak, Popcom concluded social media can play a significant role to avert teenage pregnancy.

In time for the World Population Day, Popcom-CAR launched an innovative approach to cope with teenagers' issues and concerns - the 101XSX website and mobile application.

Information Officer Job Manalang said the 101XSX website and mobile app are part of the social movement campaign geared to prevent risky behaviors among youth.

The mobile application specifically targets women and features a period calendar and fertility tracker; a tips and advice column; an integrated voice response system where the public can send queries to be answered by experts.

There is also a forum section for questions and answers; direct links to social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter among others, where they can freely interact with their fellow youth.

Manalang highlighted users may join conversations anonymously if they want to.

In addition, animated videos portraying real life teen situations will be posted in the 101XSX web site, app and different social networks.

In February, the POPCOM regional office launched the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Campaign dubbed 101XSX: 101 Ways to Become Empowered Youth, which mobilizes young people talking to young people strategy.

This aims to provide young people a space to vent through their fellow youth instead of adults who oftentimes teenagers find awkward to talk about sex concerns with.

Furthermore, POPCOM-CAR continues to strengthen their population control programs in schools and barangays.

Regional Director Rosa Fortaleza said they are involving not only teenagers but also parents in a learning package on parent education on adolescent health and youth development training.

She noted some parents lack education on how to handle teen issues therefore the training aims to help them build a closer and more open relationship with their children.

The director ended they have been engaging teachers in Population and Development Education trainings to improve their capability in integrating appropriate sex education in the schools' curricula.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 12, 2014.

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