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Sangguniang Kabataan to be tapped for programs to curb rise in teenage pregnancy in Northern Mindanao

MISAMIS ORIENTAL (PIA) -- To address concerns about the rise in teenage pregnancy in Northern Mindanao, the Commission of Population and Development (CPD) plans to actively involve the Sangguniang Kabataan (barangay youth council) in its campaign to educate young individuals about the issue. 

Monitoring data from 2020 to 2024 showed the total number of live births among adolescents in the region reached 11,020, translating to about 30 adolescents giving birth daily, and an increase in teenage pregnancy in young adolescents aged 10–14 years old. 

CPD Regional Director Neil Aldrin G. Omega emphasized the need for a positive approach to address  this issue.

At the recent Kapihan sa PIA, Omega highlighted the collaborative efforts with the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to engage with Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) and implement preventive programs effectively.

“Dako ang matabang sa SK. We are collaborating with NYC and DILG so that we are able to train and equip them og matudluan sila kung usaon pud nila makatabang prevent aning teenage pregnancy,” Omega said.

[The SK can help a lot. We are collaborating with NYC and DILG so we can train, equip, and teach them how they can help prevent teenage pregnancy.]

As part of their approach, CPD is actively involved in assisting SK members in developing local youth development plans. These plans focus on formulating and implementing programs that directly address teenage pregnancy concerns within barangays.

On a more positive note, CPD sees the involvement of SK and the broader community as a catalyst for change, fostering a supportive environment for adolescents. The aim is to empower the youth, providing them with the necessary knowledge and resources to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

Early pregnancy in Normin and its effects

Noting the increasing teenage pregnancy in the region, Omega said, "It is very alarming na nakita nato na on an average for the last three years from 2020 to 2022, adunay pag-increase by 30 percent sa atoang mga adolescents among very young adolescents aged 10–14 years old."

[It is very alarming that we have seen that, on average, for the last three years from 2020 to 2022, there has been an increase of 30 percent in our adolescents among very young adolescents aged 10–14 years old.]

Based on their records on young adolescents giving birth at ages 10–14, there were 170 live births in 2020, 220 in 2021, and 287 in 2022. 

The highest percentage of teenage pregnancies in 2022 was 4,693, or about 42.5 percent, followed by Misamis Oriental at 2,126, or 19.3 percent, and Cagayan de Oro City at 1,378, or 12.5 percent.

Omega said early pregnancy among teenagers might lead to a potential earning loss, especially if one cannot finish her studies, as indicated in the studies conducted by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The regional director further emphasized that, based on the study, around P83,000 annually, or 87 percent of potential earnings, might be lost to those who became pregnant during their teenage years. 

“In our region, the poverty threshold is around P17,000 for a family of five to survive or adequately respond to the food and non-food demands of the family. If P8,000 plus is lost, it will greatly impact the family. It is the potential earning loss of the girl child,” he said. 

Aside from the effects on the family, the loss of earnings can also impact the national economy since the country will lose around P33 billion in its gross domestic product (GDP) when the estimated income losses are accumulated. 

“We are addressing this, not only because of health but also because of the economic loss that our country will experience if we can’t address this problem. We want everyone to have a better life, and that better life can be achieved if you have a better job or employment that can provide you with a sufficient income to respond to your needs,” Omega said.

By taking a whole-government and community approach, CPD-10 aims to create a conducive atmosphere where everyone contributes to the prevention of teenage pregnancy. With a focus on education, empowerment, and collaboration, the commission seeks to transform the narrative surrounding teenage pregnancy into one of resilience and proactive community engagement. (JAKA/PIA-10)

CPD-10 Regional Director Neil Aldrin G. Omega discussed their 55th anniversary and programs and projects during the Kapihan sa PIA on Feb. 28, 2024. He emphasized the importance of proactive measures to address teenage pregnancy. (Photo: DCC/PIA-10)

About the Author

Jan Albert Araña

Information Officer I

Region 10

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