UNFPA Philippines Country Representative, Dr. Leila Joudane, has called for immediate action in response to the recent statement from the Commission on Population and Development regarding adolescent pregnancy.
The report indicates an increase in births among girls aged 10 to 14, highlighting persistent challenges in adolescents realizing their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Data from Civil Registration and Vital Statistics further indicate higher maternal mortality probabilities for pregnancies in the 10 to 14 age group, intensifying health risks for both young mothers and their children.
Highlighting the impact on education and future prospects, with many young mothers compelled to discontinue schooling, Dr. Joudane referenced UNFPA Philippines’ ongoing Longitudinal Cohort Study on the Filipino Child.
The study provides evidence that adolescent pregnancy perpetuates intergenerational poverty, leading to poor education and nutrition outcomes.
In response to these concerns, a legislative measure, passed by the House of Representatives and awaiting Senate approval, encourages collaboration among the government and stakeholders to address adolescent pregnancy.
Key components of the proposed framework include strengthening sexuality education, providing social protection, and ensuring access to reproductive health services.
Dr. Joudane stressed the urgency of promptly addressing this issue to safeguard the well-being of adolescents and prevent harmful consequences for society.
She called on all stakeholders to support the pending bill, urging collaborative efforts to protect the rights and health of young people for a safer future.