MANILA - "Listen to your parents, they really know what's best," said actress Andi Eigenmann who was a guest at the first National Summit on Teen Pregnancy sponsored by the National Youth Commission.
Eigenmann shared her experience as a young mom who got pregnant at the age of 21. Eigenmann's baby girl is now 10 months old.
"I'm not here to glorify what happened to me but I have no regrets," she said.
Eigenmann was also very vocal about her support for the RH Bill. "It's 2012, get real."
The National Statistics Office (NSO) reported that the number of teen pregnancies below 20 years old has risen from 126,025 in 2000 to 207,898 in 2010.
In the 2011 Family Health Survey conducted by the NSO, it showed 54 live births/1000 women aged 15-19 as compared to 39 live births/1000 in the 2006 survey.
Josefina Natividad, director of the UP Population Institute cited a number of factors. "Mas mataas ang sexual activity ng mga bata, mas maraming activities to engage in sexual activities at home, kulang din sa sexuality education."
There's also a higher health risk for teen moms.
Dr. Emma Llanto, president of the Society of Adolescent Medicine of the Philippines, said 1 in 5 maternal deaths are teen moms.
Llanto added that the probability of maternal death in teen moms is twice more than an older mom because of a number of factors but the primary reason has something to do with nutrition.
"Number 1 is nutrition. Most of them are malnourished. Also, 30% of teenage girls are anemic. They also delay pre-natal check-up because the tendency is that they hide it from their parents," she said.
Llanto also pointed out that many teen moms have much older boyfriends. "There are fewer teenage dads, teen girls usually get impregnated by older men, 27-28 years old but 3-4 years age gap is already significant. Some of the girls don't know any better, there's power play, they succumb to the pressure."
One of the teen moms who attended the summit was Angeline Quiming. She got pregnant at the age of 13 by her boyfriend who was then 17 years old. Her boyfriend left them when the baby was only 2 weeks old.
Now, Angeline is 19 years old and her son is now 5 years old. She only sees her son twice a month because she's a stay-in staff at a laundry shop. Her son stays with her parents. "Kailangan ko po magtrabaho para sa anak ko."