Teenage pregnancies in PH up by 7%

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 8) — The Philippines has recorded a 7% increase in births among girls aged 15 and below in 2019, up from the figure on teenage pregnancies in 2018, the Commission on Population and Development said over the weekend.

In a statement on Sunday, PopCom cited the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority which revealed that Filipino minors who gave birth in 2019 increased to 62,510 from 62,341 in 2018.

This is the ninth consecutive year that the country has reported a rise in teenage pregnancies, PopCom warned.

"In 2019, 2,411 girls considered as very young adolescents aged 10 to 14 gave birth, or almost seven every day. This was a three-fold increase from 2000, when only 755 from the said age group gave birth," the commission said.

It added that one in three births among minors occurred in the three regions of Calabarzon with 8,008, National Capital Region with 7,546 and Central Luzon with 7,523 births.

Outside Luzon, the highest number of minors who gave birth were in Northern Mindanao with 4,747 cases, Davao Region with 4,551, and Central Visayas with 4,541.

Population and Development Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said they are coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development for the teenage pregnancy reduction program as part of the government's roadmap to reduce poverty.

He added that a "whole-of-government approach" will be applied with the help of the private sector, local government units, relevant government agencies and other development partners to tackle the issue.

"PopCom and DSWD, together with other agencies, are looking forward to roll out this social protection program this year," PopCom said.