THE majority of the teenage pregnancy population in the Davao Region are teens within the school-age of Grade 1 to Grade 6, according to the data provided by the Davao City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) on Monday.

As of 2022, the total population of teenage pregnancy in Davao Region is 8.2 percent based on the monitoring years from 2020 to 2021.

Michael Israel, focal person for the Youth and Welfare Program of CSWDO, said the population is divided into the brackets of elementary level from Grade 1 to Grade 6, junior high school from Grade 7 to Grade 10, and senior high school from Grade 11 to 12.

Of the number of pregnant teens in the region, 19.1 percent are in the elementary level, 5.3 percent are in junior high school, and 4.8 percent are in senior high school.

“Subo gyod siya paminawon kay naa pa sa elementary years (It’s disheartening to hear). Makita man gud nato nga kini na years, bata pa gyod sila, wala pa’y huna-huna (We can really see that at this age, they are vulnerable and innocent),” Israel said during an interview with the Davao City Disaster Radio.

“Ang pressure from isig kabatanon or peer pressure. Naa pud naudyok or naistorya (The usual reason is peer pressure and were influenced). Ang kapobrehon pud (Poverty is another reason) kung asa ang ginikanan kulang pud ilang kahibalo para magpahibalo sa ilang mga anak (wherein parents do not have the capability to educate their children),” he added.

The perpetrators, on the other hand, are significantly older than the victims. Israel said most of the time, perpetrators are immediate family or relatives - usually those who are close to the victim.

In Davao City, teenage pregnancy prevalence slightly decreased but remains high. Based on the data of the City Health Office as of May 4, 686 cases have already been recorded so far this year as compared to the 783 total cases in 2022. These are within the age range of 15 to 19 years old.

With this, CSWDO is strengthening its efforts on advocacies and campaigns about teenage pregnancy for both the youth and the parents. ICM