By Philippine News Agency
The provincial government of South Cotabato has stepped up advocacy initiatives on teenage pregnancy as it moves to further lower the recorded cases in the area this year.
Zenaida Duron, Provincial Population Office (PPO) head, said Tuesday they have expanded their awareness campaigns and related activities for teenagers and parents in communities to help address cases of teenage pregnancy.
She said the move is aimed to sustain the significant drop in cases of teenage pregnancy last year within the province’s 10 towns and lone city.
As of the end of 2017, the PPO recorded a total of 726 teenage pregnancy cases, declining by 533 when compared to the 1,259 in 2016.
The province posted the highest number of cases in 2013 with 1,514 based on the PPO’s data from 2012.
Also known as adolescent pregnancy, the recorded cases involved females aged 20 years-old and below.
Citing their records, Duron said majority of the affected teenage women were aged 19 years-old.
She said the youngest reported were aged 12 and 13 years-old from the municipalities of Tboli, Polomolok and Tupi.
The municipality of Polomolok recorded the most number of teenage pregnancy cases in the province while Tantangan posted the least number.
Duron attributed the drop in teenage pregnancy cases last year to the strong and strict implementation of programs and advocacies that penetrate the grassroots level.
She specifically cited the conduct of the Your-For-Your (U4U) Teen Trail program in partnership with the Commission on Population.
U4U is a communication campaign aimed at preventing early sex among teens by increasing knowledge on delaying sexual debut, teen pregnancy prevention and avoiding sexually-transmitted infections.
“We will conduct more engagements in schools and local communities to further expand it reach,” Duron added.