Teenage pregnancy in PHL highest among 6 major ASEAN economies—UNFPA
With a 70-percent rise noted in a span of 10 years from 1999 to 2009, the Philippines has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) official said.
UNFPA country representative Ugochi Daniels urged the government to address the problem as this is part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the Philippine Information Agency reported.
The PIA cited a UNFPA 2011 annual report showing the number of teenage pregnancies rising 70 percent from 114,205 in 1999 to 195,662 in 2009.
It said the UNFPA figures on female adolescent pregnancies indicate the total number of annual births changed little over the preceding 10 years.
The UNFPA 2011 annual report said there are 53 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19 in the Philippines.
The PIA added over 11 percent of the 1.75 million live births in 2009 (the latest review year) were given by teenage mothers.
The numbers have risen steadily every year over the 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, the PIA added.
Also, it said data shows that in 2000, one-fifth of the country’s population belongs to the 15- to 24-year-old bracket—that means 16.5 million youngsters. By 2030 this number is projected to reach 30 million.
Last Monday, the UNFPA and the Albay local government signed a letter of understanding to jointly undertake population development activities in 15 towns and three cities in the province.
A fund of P40 million spread over five years starting 2012 will be established for the joint partnership, said Albay Governor Jose Salceda.
The project will offer HIV-AIDS training programs, an IEC campaign on reproductive health for women and youngsters, and other activities to pursue MDG components on maternal health, reduction of child mortality, promotion of gender equality, combating of HIV/AIDS, and eradication of poverty. –KG, GMA News