By Raymund Antonio
For Vice President Leni Robredo, education is still the primary solution to teenage pregnancy.
Speaking to reporters in Iloilo City, where she had a dialogue with students under the “Babaenihan Talk,” Robredo emphasized the importance of education to reduce the number of adolescent girls getting pregnant.
“Education is really the key in prevention (of teenage pregnancies). The number one (solution) is the access to education,” Robredo said in Filipino when asked about the issue of teenage pregnancy.
Robredo, a widowed mother of three, was in the University of the Philippines campus in Iloilo City yesterday in the company of young female students for the Babaenihan National Level Talk.
Babaenihan is a portmanteau of Filipino words “babae” and “bayanihan” that means “women” and “sense of community,” respectively.
The Office of the Vice President partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the community talk to raise awareness and help address issues concerning girls and young women, especially teenage pregnancy.
Robredo lamented the high number of teenage pregnancies in the country.
Based on a recent survey, she cited that in 10 girls, aged 13 to 19, one of them got pregnant, while those aged 19 and up, one out of five young females, had a child.
The Vice President noted the serious impact of early pregnancy to every aspect of a girl’s life.
“Its effect is not only on taking care of her child, but to her education and economic opportunities after,” Robredo, a lawyer and former housing chief, said.
Robredo called for the urgent need to galvanize efforts to develop specific interventions that will focus on unwanted pregnancies among teenage girls.
“My suggestion to UNFPA, I hope the next module is for the children to have breakout sessions. They should make action points based on what they have learned,” she said.
“The issues about women’s rights are very unattractive to many so they have to be more creative on how to instill these lessons to the things the youth may absorb,” Robredo added.