The Civil Registry Statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed two registered live births from a 10 years old girl from NCR and CALABARZON, the two regions with relatively high population.
In 2018, NCR had recorded 369 cases of babies born to mothers age 10-14 but gone down by 6.5% in 2019 with 345 registered cases. As for those ages 15-19, there was also a noted decrease of 4.8% from 20,613 in 2018 to 19,614 in 2019.
“Although declining trend was observed in both age brackets, the case of a 10-year-old getting pregnant has sounded the alarm for all local government units to harmonize their efforts for stronger and better initiatives on adolescent reproductive health,” explained POPCOM-NCR Regional Director Lydio M. Espanol, Jr.
Director Espanol also expressed concern over the case of the pregnant 10-year-old girl who carries extra health risks to both herself and the baby including pre-term delivery and severe neonatal conditions. As reported by the World Health Organization, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are still the leading causes of death for 15-19 years old globally.
The case of the Philippines as a developing country poses higher threat to the lives of these young girls. The current pandemic has not only worsened the difficulty of availing prenatal and other maternal services but also family planning services that is very crucial in mitigating cases of early pregnancies.
Dr. Alejandro Herrin’s study on the economic impact of teenage pregnancies also emphasized that adolescents who have begun childbearing were less likely to complete secondary education resulting to a significant decrease in total life earnings.
Based on PSA statistics, the reported births from adolescent mothers aged 10-19 in 2019 were most prevalent in Quezon City (4,246), City of Manila (3,782), and Caloocan City (2,429) while Pateros and San Juan had 95 and 100 respectively.
In response to this, POPCOM-NCR has partnered with Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) for the reduction of teenage pregnancy through The Challenge Initiative (TCI) project. There are three major cities selected for the launching of TCI here in Metro Manila namely Quezon City, Manila and Makati.
The first two have the highest incidence of early pregnancies in the region while Makati has expressed interest over the project.
Another project that POPCOM would look into is the Social Protection Program for Teenage Mothers and their Children which shall be jointly implemented by DSWD and POPCOM. This aims to provide holistic interventions to minor parents and their children.
RD Español added that in order for these programs to yield better results, partnership among all stakeholders including those from the private sector, academe and barangays are deemed necessary. ###