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Dheniel V. Pontiga of Rizal High School in Pasig City emerged as the Champion in the recently concluded National Population Quiz 2016 held at Anchors Hotel in General Santos City.  He brought back the national award to Metro Manila after more than a decade since it last won in this prestigious competition and the first for the Division of City Schools of Pasig to win the title in the national level.

Pontiga  bested the 17 other regional contestants from all over the Philippines after dominating the average and difficult rounds, garnering an accumulated score of  31 points out of the total score of 41. Coming in second place was Kaynille Denisse Zera from Negros Island Region and Ambon Torribio from Region IX in third place.

POPCOM-NCR Regional Director said that the PopQuiz is an opportunity for the young people to be exposed to pressing population issues that have impact on their development.  POPCOM-NCR will continue to partner with DepEd in raising the awareness of the young people on population issues that concern them today and in the future.

Portiga’s coach, Mr. Alson Fernandez shared that winning the Championship title in the national level has been so elusive since he became coach of PopQuiz competition.  “Good things happen to those who persevere. We are prepared and determined to make it this year and we did.”

Dheniel was also grateful for the experience of having travelled to another region, experiencing its culture but apart from that, for the learnings he had gained in joining the contest.  “The population issues should be made known to all youth for them to act upon it” he added. As Champion, he was awarded with a plaque and a cash prize worth P10,000.00.


The National Population Quiz (PopQuiz) is an annual event for high school students, conducted by the Department of Education in coordination with the Commission on Population as part of the National Festival of Talents (NFOT). This year, it carried the theme, “SDG and the Youth: Addressing Challenges and Opportunities” and aimed to gauge the understanding of the in-school youth on issues related to population, health and environment (PHE) that have direct impact on their growth and development.

Based on the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFSS) 2013, there was an increasing proportion of youth who have begun sexual activity before age 18, from 13 percent in 1994 to 23 percent in 2013 which exposes them to risks of reproduction and childbearing, as well as sexually transmitted infections. What is more alarming is with the increasing levels of sexual activity, majority of the youth of today do not feel they have adequate knowledge about sex. Only 27.4 per cent overall say they have enough knowledge about sex; more among males (31%) than females (24%), more among the older (37%) than the younger (21%) cohort. ### (POPCOM-NCR, February 26, 2016)

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