BAGUIO CITY – The Commission on Population and Development reported a significant decline in teenage pregnancy in the Cordillera from a whooping 18.7 percent in 2013 to only 3.4 percent in 2017.
Former POPCOM-CAR regional director Rose Fortaleza underscored one of the significant accomplishments of her office during her stint in the region was the achieved reduction of teenage pregnancy which was a tough task considering the high percentage of pregnant teenagers.
In 2013, the Young Adults Fertility Survey (YAFS) showed 18.7 percent of teenagers were pregnant or have been pregnant during their teenage years which prompted the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera to mobilize concerned government agencies and local governments to intensify their information and education campaign to help reduce the high prevalence of pregnancy among teenagers.
She claimed the active participation of the education department and school administrators in providing the knowledge to teenagers on the risks of engaging in premarital sex that result to unwanted pregnancies also contributed in achieving the goal of significantly reducing teenage pregnancies in the region to only 3.4 percent in 2017.
According to her, with the region’s achievement in reducing the teenage pregnancy to its minimal level, the goal of having zero teenage pregnancy by 2022 is highly attainable ensuring the good healthi68ù of teenagers when entering their young adult years.
Fortaleza turned over the leadership of the POPCOM-Car to Magdalena Abellera in simple turnover rites administered by Commission on Population Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez.
She will be assigned to Region III which happens to be her residence where she will spend her remaining months in the government service before she reaches the mandatory age of retirement.
Fortaleza claimed that one of the challenging work that will be left behind for her successor to pursue will be to help concerned government agencies and the local government find the appropriate solutions in addressing the prevalence of very young mothers and the occurrence of pregnancies among teenagers aged 10 to 14.
Last year, the health department and the POPCOM were able to document some 2,000 females aged 10 to 14 who have been pregnant that warrants the implementation of appropriate interventions to help address the said problem among young females.
Earlier, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 71 which tasked the Commission on Population and Development to strengthen the integration of population and development in increasing the country’s potential economic growth.
The move to rename the Commission on Population and Development will strengthen the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to benefit all Filipino families aside from being tasked to formulate policies on population as it relates to economic and social development.
By Dexter A. See