TACLOBAN

PopCom: P33B lost annually due to teenage pregnancies

THE Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) has estimated that P33 billion is lost due to teenage pregnancies every year, as early childbearing reduces age earnings or wage rate profile through its effect on high school completion.

“Having a child in adolescence makes it more difficult for young people to achieve their educational, career, and other life goals and affects the future prospects of their children -- at considerable cost to taxpayers,” the agency said.

According to PopCom, low levels of educational attainment among teen parents reduce employment opportunities and earnings later on in life.

“The state, in turn, loses out on purchasing power, collects fewer taxes, and may experience reduced worker productivity,” it said.

Citing a study from United Nation Population Fund (Unfpa), the agency said a teenage girl who gets pregnant and does not finish high school may potentially lose earnings up to P83,000 a year when she gets paid for work at age 20.

This is about 87 percent of the potential annual income of a 20-year-old woman who completed her high school education and did not get pregnant in her teen years.

The Unfpa study shows that completing high school education increases daily wage rates of women by P300.

At age 20, a girl who began childbearing before age 18 may only earn about P46 a day, compared to the P361 per day estimate for someone who completed high school and did not get pregnant early.

“In an economy that increasingly demands higher levels of educational achievement, teen pregnancy can interrupt or derail education, with lasting consequences. Even if teens complete high school, unplanned pregnancy can still disrupt higher education goals,” said added PopCom in Eastern Visayas.

In an earlier statement, the agency maintained that age-earnings profile is higher among those who completed high school compared to those who did not.

Meanwhile, PopCom said it is pushing for the passage of a bill that seeks to prevent teenage pregnancy and which will strengthen mechanisms and interventions to educate and enable adolescents to access appropriate services including family planning information and services, as well as, a comprehensive social protection program for teenaged mothers and their children. (SunStar Philippines)


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