A women’s group raised alarm on the rising teenage pregnancies in the Philippines.
In a statement, Gabriela Youth called on the government to provide quality education, access to basic social services, and regular jobs with living wages to young women.
“Teenage pregnancy is not an issue of deteriorating morality among the youth, but a serious matter that has long been neglected and left unaddressed by every administration,” it underscored.
Gabriela Youth said that distance learning, pushed by the administration even without concrete plans, forced millions of youth to stop schooling.
“With the continuing onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic, [the] quality education system is one of the basic social services that has been neglected by [the] Duterte administration,” the group reiterated.
In August, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that about four million learners have dropped out due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic crisis, while many students are still scrambling to acquire digital devices and stable Internet connection.
On Sunday, Feb. 7, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCOM) bared that the Philippines has recorded a 7 percent increase in births among girls aged 15 and below in 2019.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), PopCom revealed that Filipino minors who gave birth in 2019 increased to 62,510 from 62,241 in 2018.