Recognizing the urgent need to address teenage pregnancies in the country, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has partnered with the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) to establish a social protection program specifically for teenage mothers who are minors and their children.
DSWD on Wednesday, June 9, said that both agencies will undertake the Social Protection Program for Teenage Mothers and their Children (SPPTMC) as mandated under the special provision of the 2021 General Appropriations Act of 2021.
This partnership, DSWD said, will be reinforced through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to be signed by DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito D. Bautista and POPCOM Undersecretary for Population and Development and Executive Director, Juan Antonio A. Perez III, on Thursday, June 10, to be broadcasted live via DSWD and POPCOM’s official Facebook pages.
DSWD and POPCOM commit to undertake the activities specified in the MOA to achieve the program’s objectives, including data gathering and research, mobilization, sharing and exchange of databases and advocacy campaigns.
The DSWD, through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), and POPCOM have an approved and existing data sharing agreement (DSA) to facilitate the data exchange towards convergence of programs and services for the existing 4Ps beneficiaries.
Under the MOA, both agencies also agree to utilize said DSA to “develop possible interventions or programs specific for teenage mothers, who are minors, and their children” covered under the 4Ps.
DSWD noted that another DSA may be developed to address the needs of teenage mothers, who are minors, and their children not covered by the 4Ps.
The DSWD and POPCOM aim to ensure compliance to Republic Act No. 10173, or the Data Privacy Act of 2012, for the protection of personal information gathered towards and during the implementation.
DSWD said that the development of the SPPTMC is already in its preparatory stage. Both agencies are also collaborating on the conduct of consultation workshops with stakeholders and rapid appraisal on the situation of teenage pregnancy in the country.
The SPPTMC seeks to prevent teenage pregnancies and establish sufficient and accessible measures to protect the well-being of teenaged mothers and their children, as envisioned in the Philippine Development Plan and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Both the DSWD and POPCOM mutually recognize the importance of preventing pregnancies among teenagers who are minors because of the life-long implications on the wellbeing of young people – a population group that is considered “vital in national development.”