PUERTO PRINCESA - Vice President Leni Robredo and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched a teenage pregnancy awareness campaign at the Western Philippines University in Puerto Princesa City, Friday.
The campaign "Babaenihan" seeks to increase awareness on the urgency of addressing teenage pregnancies, calling to action the public and private sector, the local government unit and civil society groups to tackle this issue.
"Napakaraming temptation na dadaan, napakaraming pagsubok yung dadaan. At sa society, in general still has unfortunately discrimination on women," Robredo said.
"Sana ma-internalized hindi lang yung tungkol sa teenage pregnancies pero mas mahalaga siguro na yung kalakasan nating lahat bilang mga kababaihan ay hindi nanggagaling kahit kanino man pero nanggagaling sa sarili natin," she added.
According to United Nations Population Fund, the Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia where teenage pregnancy is on the rise.
In 2016, there were 2,600 teenage pregnancy cases in Palawan, Provincial Health Office data showed.
"Urgent action is needed to enable women and girls to expand their capabilities, secure their reproductive health, and contribute to sustainable economic growth," UNFPA Country Representative Klaus Beck said.
During a forum, chosen students from different schools were given the chance to ask Robredo about their issues.
Some of them opened up about lack of support and open communication from their families.