The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) has launched a social media campaign that will help boost interaction between parents and their adolescent children as part of efforts to address teenage pregnancies in the country.
Dubbed “Konektado Tayo”, the nationwide campaign aims to bridge the communication gap between parents and teens, particularly those concerning adolescent sexuality and development, POPCOM said in a statement. It was launched with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Health (DOH).
Social media app Facebook will be used as the primary platform for the campaign to reach target audiences and help improve their quality of conversations about love, sexuality, and relationships.
“With Konektado Tayo, we have harnessed the power of social media to reach parents, guardians and children in initiating conversations among themselves,” said Undersecretary for Population and Development Juan Antonio Perez III.
“If Facebook is where our young citizens obtain information on almost anything and everything about the world around them, then we made certain through Konektado Tayo that they could get their initial information on sexuality through reliable sources, with proper guidance and contextualization, within the same platform,” he added.
Citing the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality study, Perez said most Filipino youths are likely to consult their peers for questions on sexuality as only 10 percent are open to discussing the subject in their homes.
The POPCOM chief explained that parents are expected to be the primary sources of information about love, relationships, and sexuality-related issues, however, they are usually uncomfortable and not equipped to discuss these topics with their adolescent children.
Perez added that there is a “culture of shame and embarrassment” in such conversations which further discourages open and effective communication between parents and teens.
“With various concerns being faced by our youth today such as teenage pregnancy and lack of education, we believe the campaign will be instrumental in teaching our children to develop a healthy self-image, empowering them to think critically, and enabling them to make wise decisions, while strengthening their capacity to do what is right,” he said.
Meanwhile, for its part, the DOH emphasized the importance of connections among young people, the people who matter the most to them, and those they can trust, such as their parents and mentors.
“Having open, respectful, discreet, and compassionate conversations on sensitive issues such as relationships, sexuality, and sex, by way of “Konektado Tayo,” can help prevent risky sexual behaviors while promoting responsible decision-making among young Filipinos,” the health department said.