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Davao City, Philippines

National emergency declaration pushed amid rising teenage pregnancy

November 03, 2019 - Sunday 6:11 PM by Pia Xi

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DAVAO CITY (PIA) -- The Population Commission (Popcom) has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to declare a national emergency to address the rising number of pregnant adolescents.
According to the National Demographic and Health Survey 2017, there were about 200,000 young women ages 10 years old to 19 years old who have given birth.
Bai Agnes Sampulna, Regional Director of Popcom-11, said the early pregnancy cases in Davao Region is twice as large as the national average.
The teenage prevalence rate in Davao Region is 17.9%, while the national average is 8.6%. Davao City has a 12 to 13% teenage pregnancy prevalence rate.
For Davao Region in 2018 there were about 18,403  women (ages 15 to 19) who were pregnant and delivered (livebirth, abortion, stillbirth)  While in the first quarter of 2019 there was a recorded 7,636 cases of ages pregnancy among 15-19 women.
Sampulna said with a national emergency, the President will sign an executive order to mobilize government agencies to address the problem.
The Popcom recently launched the “No More Children, Having Children” campaign to stem the rising tide of early pregnancy.
“When adolescents become pregnant, they have a higher prevalence of health risks; namely: premature delivery, low birth weight of the baby, neonatal complications and congenital anomalies. Those born preterm and with low weights are at risk of stunted growth. Clearly, adolescent pregnancies will take their toll on the health of newborns.” Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez said in his speech at the campaign launch in Manila.
“In terms of development and poverty reductions, early childbearing reduces the probability of young mothers in completing their education, especially those in high school,” Perez also said in his speech
“Early pregnancy also puts an additional financial burden to the affected teens and their parents, which may contribute to the state of their household falling deeper into the pits of poverty,” Perez added.
The Popcom chief has warned of an impending population crisis if the cases of teenage pregnancy will be left unchecked. PIA 11/RG Alama