Teen pregnancy rise alarms Popcom 7 exec

Teen pregnancy rise alarms Popcom 7 exec
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AN “ALARMING” 11,686 cases of teenage pregnancy were recorded across seven highly urbanized cities and provinces in Central Visayas in 2022, a 7.4 percent increase from the year prior.

In 2021, 10,881 cases were recorded.

Maria Lourdes Garillos, population program officer of the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) 7, told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, that the data should be treated as concerning, saying “even the slightest increase, it is alarming.”

“Teenage women should not be pregnant. They are supposed to be in school, they are supposed to have a career and contribute to the economy and live out their dreams,” she said.

Of the total figure, Central Visayas recorded 11,445 cases of early pregnancy among women aged 15 to 19 years old, while 241 cases were among those under 15 years old. Meanwhile, in 2021, the region recorded 10,717 cases and 164 cases in both categories, respectively.

For 2022, Cebu Province had the highest teenage pregnancy cases in the region, after recording 5,106 cases, followed by Negros Oriental with 2,364 cases; Bohol, 1,625 cases; and Cebu City, 1,504. Lapu-Lapu City recorded 586 teenage pregnancies, Mandaue City, 475 cases; and Siguijor, 116 cases.


Garillos attributed the surge in teenage pregnancy cases to the insufficient access to health and family planning services, exacerbated by community quarantines due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She said it is critical to provide young women with the necessary support and resources to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

She said the pandemic hindered the mobility of their programs, leading to a shift of their programs online.

In addition, Garillos echoed concerns raised by others regarding gender-based violence, including instances of child sexual abuse and rape, as underlying factors contributing to early pregnancies.

She emphasized the importance of addressing these issues comprehensively, advocating for measures to prevent and respond to gender-based violence effectively.

Garillos called for collaborative efforts among government agencies, civil society organizations, and communities to address the complex interplay of factors driving teenage pregnancy rates and to implement strategies aimed at promoting the health, safety, and well-being of young women.


Garillos said that there are multifaceted impacts of teenage pregnancy on young women. She highlighted the physical health risks inherent in early motherhood, emphasizing the heightened likelihood of complications during pregnancy and childbirth for adolescent mothers.

“These are cases of children bearing children. They should still be playing like normal kids,” she said.

Teenage pregnancy can result in emotional and psychological toll, noting the prevalence of feelings such as fear, anxiety, and isolation among young women facing unplanned pregnancies.

Garillos said teenage pregnancy can make it hard for young mothers to keep going to school because they have to take care of their babies and deal with people judging them.

She also talked about how having a baby can make it tough for teenage moms to have enough money, especially if they don’t have help from their family or their partner. This can make it harder for them to do things they want to do in the future.

She emphasized the importance of providing comprehensive support systems, including access to sex education, contraception, healthcare services, and programs aimed at empowering young mothers.


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