HomeNewsPassage of teenage pregnancy prevention bill urged 

Passage of teenage pregnancy prevention bill urged 

Key organizations in the Philippines marked the observance of World Population Day with a call for the swift passage of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Bill.

In a press briefing, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines, and the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) emphasized the need for policies that address adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show an increase in adolescent pregnancies, with births among girls aged 10-19 rising by 10.2% from 2021 to 2022, from 136,302 to 150,138.

“The increase in adolescent pregnancies reflects a societal failure to safeguard the rights and aspirations of young girls,” said CPD Executive Director Lisa Grace S. Bersales.

The proposed bill aims to prevent unplanned adolescent pregnancies and address social injustices. It includes provisions for comprehensive sexuality education, access to adolescent-friendly SRHR services, and data collection to guide policy.

“Adolescent pregnancy rates in the Philippines are high, showing significant gaps in knowledge and access to family planning,” said Dr. Leila Saiji Joudane, UNFPA Philippines Country Representative.

 She noted that a law is essential for addressing the causes of adolescent pregnancy and empowering youth to make informed health decisions.

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PLCPD Executive Director Romeo C. Dongeto emphasized the importance of access to information and services for youth. 

“Protecting our youth involves ensuring they have the right to obtain appropriate information and services,” he said.

The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting discussion in the Senate. Advocates are urging the Senate to prioritize the bill as an investment in the country’s youth.

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