BAGUIO CITY – Close to ten percent of the births in the city are allegedly being delivered by teenage mothers which is a cause of alarm among civil registry and health officials.
Assistant City Local Civil Registrar Bernardina Tabin said of the 9,867 births recorded by their office last year, 966 were reportedly delivered by teenage mothers aged 15 to 19 while 353 of the reported 4,192 births for the first five months of this year were also delivered by teenage mothers from the same age group.
Of the total number of births last year, 52.69 percent were described to be delivered by legitimately married mothers while 47.39 percent were described to be illegitimate births which is also another alarming data that must be given appropriate attention by the concerned government agencies and the local government.
However, she claimed that more than 60 percent of those who give birth in the various health facilities in the city are bonafide residents of the city’s 128 barangays while close to 40 percent are said to be residents from neighboring towns and provinces who opt to deliver their children in the health-based facilities in the city.
In terms of deaths, the Local Civil Registry office recorded some 2,566 individuals who died last year while for the first five months of this year, there were some 1,016 persons who died in the city.
Furthermore, Tabin reported that there were some 1,704 couples that contracted marriage in the city last year while for the first five months of this year, there were some 902 couples that already contracted marriage.
She claimed that most of the marriages have been recorded in the month of June and the later months of the year, thus, the number of marriages is expected to significantly increase by the end of the year.
The local Civil Registry Office is in charge of recording three important aspects in the life of an individual which is birth, marriage and death aside from providing allied services related to the said instances.
Tabin asserted that the duties and responsibilities lodged to their office is totally different from those of the officials and personnel of the City health Services Office although some of their functions are actually inter-related aside from the fact that their offices are located within the same compound but in separate structures.
She pointed out that the cases of teenage mothers and illegitimate children are considered to be in the alarming stage, thus, concerned government agencies and the various offices of the local government must closely work together in crafting and formulating the implementation of doable strategies that will address the problem and prevent the continuous increase in the said cases which does not speak well of the norms and morals of the society where they belong.
For individuals having problems with their civil registry documents, Tabin called on the said persons to immediately visit their office for them to be provided with the necessary advise on the steps to be undertaken to correct whatever wrong entries in their existing documents.
By Dexter A. See