Duterte makes teenage pregnancy prevention a national priority
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has made teenage pregnancies a national priority to cope with the expected rise in the number of cases during the current epidemic.
Duterte has signed Executive Order No. 141, highlighting the importance of taking action against the root causes of teenage pregnancy and making it a national priority.
In his EO, Duterte cited data from the Philippine Statistics Authority where 183,967 live births were recorded among adolescents aged 10 to 19 years old in 2018, and 180,916 in 2019 for the same age group.
“The number of adolescent pregnancies is expected to rise, as girls already living in dysfunctional homes spend more time with their households as a result of the pandemic and are thereby more exposed to abuse,” the EO read.
Duterte ordered mobilizing existing coordinative and legal mechanisms related to the prevention of adolescent pregnancies.
The President also directed agencies to “strengthen the adolescents’ capacity to make autonomous and informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health by ensuring access to comprehensive sexuality education and reproductive health and rights services.”
Agencies were likewise told to “exert all efforts” in reaching geographically isolated and depressed areas.
Further, the Sangguniang Kabataan was encouraged to develop interventions to prevent adolescent pregnancies and support adolescent mothers.
The Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) Cabinet cluster was directed to assist SKs in implementing programs in their respective localities.
The National Youth Commission was ordered to establish a forum between the government and the youth sector while the Commission on Population and Development was ordered to continuously educate parents and community members on strategies to reduce adolescent pregnancy.
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