THE Commission on Population (Popcom) in Eastern Visayas is keen on piloting the Social Protection Program for Mothers and their Children (SPPAMC).

“What we are offering with the program is an opportunity for our adolescent mothers to continue to a better life including their children and not the discrimination they often experience after giving birth at a young age,” said Popcom-Eastern Visayas Director Elnora Pulma.

The program offers social protection for adolescent mothers and their children by providing continued opportunities for education, access to health services, and other assistance to safeguard a better quality of life for them and in the process reduce the incidence of poverty and other vulnerabilities.

An estimated P33 billion in potential lifetime income for teenage girls is lost due to early pregnancy and compounded when there is repeat pregnancies among these teen moms, according to the agency.

In a statement, Popcom said the situation “can adversely affect their future and potential and without proper interventions such as the SPPAMC, they could be trapped into a vicious cycle of intergenerational poverty.”

The program is based on the approved Social Protection Operational Framework and Strategy, which will include a pilot implementation of proposed interventions in select partner-local government units.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority's Civil Registration and Vital Statistics of 2019, Popcom said Eastern Visayas logged in 7,000 pregnancies among teens in 2019 with at least eight young mothers who had already given birth when they were 13 years old.