No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

CPD beefs up adolescent programs amidst alarming teenage pregnancy rate in CAR

BAGUIO CITY(PIA)-- With more than 70 percent  increase in teenage pregnancy in the Cordillera  for the past five years, the Commission on Population and Development-Cordillera (CPD-CAR) with its partners  are doubling efforts to enhance social protection programs and integrate comprehensive sexuality education in the school curriculum.

CPD-CAR Population Program Officer III Job David Manalang shared during the World Population Day Kapihan forum that  that the region ranked 7th nationwide in terms of teenage pregnancy rate which went up to 6.1% in 2022 from 3.5% in 2017. He said the that the region’s teenage fertility rate is higher than the national rate at 5.4%.

 Manalang also reported that although there is a decrease in pregnancies among 15-19 years old, there is an increase of adolescent pregnancy among the much younger age group of 10-14 years old.

The Department of Health -Cordillera tracking showed that there were  20 teens aged 10-14 who were pregnant in 2020. It increased to 21 pregnancies in 2021 and rose to 31 pregnancies among the 10-14 years old age group in 2022.

“This is very alarming.  10-14 is not the age for motherhood, this is still within the realm of childhood,” he said.

Aside from the upward trend of teen pregnancy among the younger age group, Manalang also pointed out the concern on older men fathering  babies of  teenage mothers. 

“Noong 2021, ‘yung nakita natin sa Civil Registry of Vital Statistics, there were actually men who are in their 60s, 70s, and 80s who impregnated teenage mothers,” he said.

Commission on Population and Development Population Officer III Job David Manalang shares data on the National Health and Development Survey during the World Population Day Kapihan Forum on July 11, 2023 in Baguio City. (Photo courtesy: PIA-CAR)

With these alarming data on teenage pregnancy in the region, Manalang shared the shift from reactive efforts to proactive programs to tackle factors on increasing teen fertility rates at the different levels of engagement and sectors.

He shared that among the efforts of CPD-CAR is the social protection program for adolescent mothers and children.

“Before,  the focus of our adolescent health program is more on preventing teenage pregnancies from increasing. The other aspect kasi is we also need zero repeat pregnancy among teenage mothers,” he said.

A young mom benefits from the oral care services during the Adolescent Caravan in Kabugao, Apayao. The caravan aims to promote reproductive health and family planning awareness to lower the teenage pregnancy rate in the municipality. (Photo by: Brentt Avelard Tapiru)

He explained that the social protection program focuses on ensuring that teenage mothers and their children have access to education, proper healthcare services, and information on reproductive health and life planning.

“We also need zero-repeat pregnancies among teenage mothers. If we have a teenage mother, we have to ensure na hindi siya mabubuntis ulit for a second or third child while  still a teenager,” he said.

Manalang also shared updates on the partnership of the CPD-CAR and the Department of Education to integrate comprehensive sexuality education in the schools in the region. He said the CPD-CAR has been going around the different schols Division Offices in the provinces to train teachers to discuss comprehensive sexuality education.

“We do have the module which we call the Sexually Health and Personally Empowered Adolescents (SHAPE A). This module allows the teacher to have access to curriculum-based activities and messages related to reproductive health by age group,” he explained.

He also said that the CPD ensures that the modules that the teachers use are appropriate to the age group they are teaching.

Manalang reported that the Division Offices in all the provinces have already been covered and they are now monitoring the integration of the comprehensive sexuality education in the curriculum of the schools since face-to-face classes just started.

Cordillera Women's Education Action Research Center (CWEARC), Inc. Executive Director Abigail Bengwayan-Anongos also highlights the importance of the education component in addressing this issue that affects the Cordillera youth.

“This is really an expressed concern of our partner barangays so I think that this a concern of urgency that our government agencies can look into  educating this large chunk of our youth population,” she said.

Other issues and concerns presented during the World Population Day media forum include the decreasing fertility rate among Cordillera women, improvements of pregnancy outcomes, and family planning outputs, among others.

The World Population Day is observed on July 11 every year to raise awareness on the importance of population issues and concerns that affect the environment and human development.(JDP/JJPM-PIA CAR)

About the Author

Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor


Feedback / Comment

Get in touch