Teen pregnancy surges in midst of pandemic

Published November 24, 2020, 10:42 AM

by Mike Crismundo

BUTUAN CITY – Amidst the current health crisis, an increasing number of cases of teenage pregnancy in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region was recorded, based on data gathered by the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) – Caraga.

In a data presented by Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano of POPCOM-Caraga during the Seconnd Gender and Development Focal Point System Virtual Meeting, 2,337 cases of teenenagers, aged between 15 to 19 years, became pregnant on the first quarter of the year, while 2,081 were expectant in the second quarter, the time where first confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were tallied. 

Makinano said that behavioral problems, mixed with the lack of parental supervision and limited support mechanisms, resulted in risky sexual activities among young people. 

“The rise of Gender-Based Violence in the region including children brings a glimpse that these are inclined with the boom of teenage pregnancy,” he said. 

“Lack of education is also included in the list of factors of teenage pregnancy,” Makinano also told The Manila Bulletin on Monday. 

According to him, girls who engage in early sex that resulted in pregnancy are greatly at risk of losing their lives and that of their child. 

The POPCOM official said a teenage mom, who is not well educated cannot assume parental and familial responsibilities as they are still dependent on their parents and families. 

“Teenage mothers are also considered at risk of depression as they are new to the norm of taking responsibility for a child,” Makinano pointed out. 

With these risks brought by teenage pregnancy, Makinano encouraged boys to foresee their future when they engage in premarital teenage sex. 

The region’s top POPCOM official advised them to avoid risky behavior, such as having sex with their partners, that could result in unwanted pregnancy. Instead, they could encourage their partners to finish their education first before engaging in sex.