Sat. May 28th, 2022

The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) on Friday said the number of adolescents who gave birth in 2020 went down by 23,855.

(mb.com.ph)

In 2019, births by mothers under 19 years old reached 180,915 and dropped to 157,060 last year.

A substantial part of the decrease was in the 15 to 19 age bracket, with the 23,557 mothers constituting 98.7 percent of the decline.

The daily birth rate of the 15-19 group was at 425, lower than 2019’s 489.

Adolescent birth rates were at 31 per 1,000 girls in 2020, significantly lower than the 47 per 1,000 in the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), PopCom said, citing a Philippine Statistics Authority report.

The Philippine Development Plan is aiming for a rate of 37 per 1,000, while PopCom targets a 50-percent reduction from the baseline of 57 percent in the 2013 NDHS to 28 percent by 2022.

“This is good news for us and our partners who have been advocating for a reduction in teen pregnancies, as well as the health, population and local government units’ social workers who stepped up their services in adolescent health to achieve this result,” PopCom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said in an online briefing.

In the 10 to 14 age group, or the very young adolescents, the decrease was at 12 percent while daily births fell to six from 2019’s seven.

“Parents and their adolescent children have internalized an increased awareness about the problem of teen pregnancies with regard to the health and well-being of girls having children as minors,” Perez said.

“The decline noted throughout the year serves as evidence that things are slowly changing for our young women,” he added.

A comprehensive action plan to address adolescent pregnancies was the subject of Executive Order (EO) 141, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 25, 2021 and for implementation this year.

The order adopts as a national policy the measures to tackle the root causes of the rising number of young Filipinos giving birth.

Perez said the gains under the EO “will encourage government agencies involved with the plan that change is possible in the coming years, with further expansion of existing programs, and by increasing social protection for those who have started families at a young age”.

“The time to act is now and not a day later,” he added. 

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