MANILA - From over 62,000 in 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority recorded only over 56,000 live births from young girls aged 10 to 17 years old in 2020.
"In the early months of the pandemic, [the decline was] probably due to the efforts of our partners in the field, but this was accelerated and we saw a decline in December where there were only 10,000 from about 15,000 average in the previous months," Commission on Population and Development Undersecretary Juan Antonio III said on Friday.
This unlikely but effective synergy to curb teen pregnancies comes as POPCOM celebrated its 53rd anniversary.
Among regions, NCR recorded the largest decrease in recorded live births from adolescents with over 1,000 less from 2019 to 2020 or a 13 percent drop.
NCR is followed by CALABARZON with 842 less live births, and Region 9 with 646 less from 2019 to 2020.
Alarmingly, however, 60 percent registered live births from young girls aged 10 to 17 years old were fathered by men 20 years or older.
Breaking the figure down, POPCOM said there are over 90,000 males aged 20 years and up who got young girls pregnant.
In 2021, an Executive Order was signed by the Office of the President to address the root cause of rising number in teenage pregnancies.
POPCOM has partnered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and 20 local government units for a pilot implementation of its social protection program, given a 10 million peso budget by the government.