A TOTAL of 118 teen centers are currently operating in different public and private schools in Davao Region to counter the increase in teenage pregnancy cases.
Population Commission Davao Region Director Bai Agnes Sampulna said on Monday, June 24, 2019, during the SM City’s Kapehan media forum that these teen centers will help cater concerns of teenage pregnant women and other troubled teens through trained peer educators and counselors. Teen centers are considered as safe spaces for adolescents where they can congregate and receive information or services.
“Dito sa region, we have the most number of teen centers and that is a very good response in the memorandum of the Regional Development Council (RDC) to establish teen centers in all secondary schools last year,” she said.
RDC Davao Region resolution no. 52, series of 2018 stated the endorsement of the establishment of a functional local Teen Center for Adolescent Health and Development in all Secondary Schools to promote physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of the youth to enable them to achieve their full potential and positively contribute to national development.
In the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Davao Region recorded the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country followed by Western Visayas and Soccsksargen. It showed that that 17.9 percent of the region's teens aged 15 to 19 years old have begun childbearing, which is twice the national average of 8.6 percent.
Sampulna said identified causes of teenage pregnancy in the region include family problem, bullying, depression and poverty.
The agency said increase of teenage pregnancy cases is really alarming as it affects the community’s development as a whole and it poses risks to individuals like maternal mortality, unemployment and illiteracy as most teenagers who got pregnant stopped going to school.
She also said they are also advocating for no second pregnancy after first teenage pregnancy.
“Tuloy-tuloy ang aming pagbibigay ng technical assistance through schools, local government units (LGUs) and parents in educating them on how to take care of their adolescents dahil education starts at home,” Sampulna said.