THE number of teenage pregnancies in Davao City spiked to 3,251 in the year 2022 alone, based on the City Population Office (CPO) data as of July 3, 2023.
Jerrielyn Lewis, acting chief of CPO, said the sudden increase came presumably after Covid-19 restrictions eased last year, which permitted more establishments to open and allowed people to gather.
In the past years, the peak of teenage pregnancies in Davao City was recorded in 2019 with 4,347 cases before it dropped to 3,464 in 2020 and 2,925 in 2021 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lewis said the beginning of 2022 still had a few cases but it rose by the third and fourth quarter of the said year.
“Nakita gyod namo na nag ubos ta, mas ubos ta sa 2021.
Natingala na lang mi pagsugod sa third quarter og sa fourth quarter, nitaas siya og kalit. Tungod nga pwede na sila mugawas, gidungagan pa sa excitement – pwede na mag kuyog, pwede na mag tambay sa mall og uban pa, isa na mga factor,” she said during an interview with the Davao City Disaster Radio.
(We really saw a decrease, even lower than what we had in 2021. We were surprised when it suddenly increased in the third and fourth quarters. That’s probably because they’re allowed to go out so they’re excited to get together and go to places, that’s one of the factors.)
Aside from preventing early pregnancies itself, the acting chief said they also consider the health and wellness of the teenagers since they are too young to get pregnant.
“Dili ready ilang body so naa na’y sagubangunon na health issue. Tungod na dili healthy imong lawas, dili pud ka-expect na healthy pud ang bata na ilang gihimugso,” she said.
(Their bodies are not ready for pregnancy so they may encounter health issues. Because your body is not healthy, you can’t expect your baby to be healthy as well.)
In a previous report, the Davao City Health Office also reported that lack of proper sex education is one of the main factors of teenage pregnancy.
As a response, the acting chief said they are doubling their efforts to address the high cases of teenage pregnancies, particularly through strengthening information campaigns on the subject.