An administration solon on Wednesday, June 30 applauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of an executive order adopting as a national priority the implementation of measures to prevent teenage pregnancy.
Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles, a staunch advocate of teenage pregnancy prevention, cited Duterte for recognizing the problem as a “brewing crisis” affecting the country’s youth.
Citing a report of the Commission on Population and Development, Nograles noted a rise in pregnancy involving minors.
POPCOM disclosed that 62,510 Filipino minors gave birth in 2019, slightly higher than the 62,341 in 2018.
The commission also warned that based on teenage pregnancy trends, around 133,000 families will be led by minors by the end of 2021.
“We thank the President for recognizing this brewing crisis affecting our youth and directing all of government to address it. Magiging magandang pamana ang pagkakaroon ng polisiya para matugunan ang lumalalang isyu ng teenage pregnancy,” Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles said.
Duterte signed on June 25 Executive Order No. 141, which directs concerned government agencies to address the root causes of teenage pregnancy.
Nograles is the author of House Bill No. 5516, or the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Act of 2019.
The bill mandates providing teenagers easy access to full and comprehensive information that could help them prevent early and unintended pregnancies.
If passed, government would be mandated to develop an evidence-based, medium-term National Program of Action for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancies. The program of action shall serve as the national framework for inter-agency and inter-sectoral collaboration at all levels to address the various health, cultural, socio-economic, and institutional determinants of teenage pregnancy.
The measure would also provide support and incentives to adolescent parents to continue their education.
The neophyte lawmaker urged Congress to work closely with the other branches of government to ensure it comes up with an "effective policy to ensure that teenage pregnancy prevention will be institutionalized beyond the President’s term.”
“Teenage pregnancy is a long-term issue that we will not be able to address in one or two years. As soon as possible, we have to devise a long-term strategy and empower those offices that will be tasked with responding to this issue,” the Harvard-trained lawyer said.