RESULTS from the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey as well as the 2011 Family Health National Survey show that teenage pregnancy has become widespread in the Philippines.
The Commission on Population (Popcom) said that 196,000 Filipinas between the ages of 15-19 years old get pregnant every year and an average of 500 teenage girls give birth every day.
The Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFSS) showed that childbearing among teenagers increased from 8% to 10% within a period of 10 years.
No less than Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia has agreed that the rise in teenage pregnancy is contributuing to the country’s population crisis.
Secretary Pernia adds, “We are seeing the height of the crisis now. The carrying capacity of the country is overstretched. There are fewer job opportunities.”
Not only does teenage pregnancy pose health risks to mother and child resulting in emotional trauma, low birth weight and higher risk of death, there is a corresponding rise in the country’s poverty index.
Rural teenagers have a significantly higher rate of childbearing compared to their urban counterparts. These same teenagers are often the ones with less income, less education and less opportunities for socio-economic growth, thus continuing the grinding cycle of poverty.
To raise awareness on the serious of effects of early pregnancy to young women , Zonta Clubs of Cebu 1 and 2 have spearheaded education-based campaigns providing students a platform to understand issues on early pregnancy and giving them opportunities to make a more informed choice on sexual activity.