MANILA, Philippines – The National Youth Commission (NYC) on Friday expressed alarm over the rise in teenage pregnancies in the Philippines that was disclosed in a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The report said the Philippines now ranks first among ASEAN’s 6 major economies in teenage pregnancy with a rate of 53 in every 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.
“This problem is growing exponentially. It is becoming commonplace in the youth’s field of experience. Most young people would usually have a friend or know a peer who became pregnant at a young age,” NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña said in a statement.
NYC also said a study showed that unplanned pregnancy is one of the main reasons why teens fail to finish schooling.
“Teen pregnancy has many dimensions and its strongest impact is on the young mother whose future will be jeopardized because she needs to take on the responsibilities of being a mother at a very young age,” said Cendaña.
Cendaña urged lawmakers to pass the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, saying that the need for an RH policy “is so obvious now more than ever.”
“Age-appropriate reproductive health education is key to influencing the lifestyle of young people so that they can be made more responsible of their actions,” he added.