Nearly seven girls aged 14 and below are giving birth in the Philippines everyday, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) said in its latest findings released over the weekend.
“In 2019, 2,411 girls considered as very young adolescents aged 10 to 14 gave birth, or almost seven everyday,” PopCom said.
According to the commission, this figure was a three-fold increase from year 2000 when only 755 from the said age group gave birth.
PopCom also revealed that the number of girls in this age group who got pregnant jumped by 7 percent from 62,341 in 2018 to 62,510 in 2019 — the ninth consecutive year that the country has recorded an increase in teenage pregnancies.
PopCom noted that the most number of births among teenage mothers was logged in the Calabarzon region with 8,008 births, followed by the National Capital Region and Central Luzon with 7,546, and 7,523 births, respectively.
Outside Luzon, the highest number of minors who gave birth were from Cebu or Central Visayas, with 4,541; Northern Mindanao with 4,747; and Davao region with 4,551.
To address this alarming trend, PopCom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said the commission and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is set to roll out a social protection program for adolescent mothers this year as part of the government’s roadmap to reduce poverty.
“Adolescent mothers, as well as their children, can be provided with social protection, similar to the ones offered to older persons and victims of disasters,” he said.
Perez added that a “whole-of-government approach” will be applied with the help of stakeholders to address the issue of teenage pregnancy.