Albay governor takes pride in low teen pregnanciesBy Mar S. Arguelles |Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY—By keeping the youth busy in school, the number of teenage pregnancies in Albay has dropped below the national average, according to Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.
Salceda, quoting a 2012 study on teenage pregnancy jointly made by the provincial government, the Department of Health and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said that teenage pregnancies in Albay dropped by 8 percent to only 1,571 cases.
This made Albay one of the provinces in the country with the lowest teenage pregnancy rate, at only 24 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19 against the national rate of 53 births, the governor said.
Salceda said he believed that one reason for the low teenage pregnancy rate in Albay could be the aggressive college tuition financing program of the provincial government. Under this program, the number of students able to enroll in college jumped to 34,000 in 2012 from just 14,600 in 2010.
“Keep the kids busy, keep them in school,” Salceda said. “In the long run, higher educational attainment should lead to higher career ambitions, therefore greater deferral of marriage and, thus, pregnancies,” he said.
In 2010, the Albay Provincial Population Office recorded 1,667 teenage pregnancies. In 2011, 1,700 teenage pregnancies were reported.