Filtered By: Topstories

As teenage pregnancies rise, CPD urges parents to educate children on sexuality

With the increasing number of teenage pregnancies in the country, the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) on Wednesday reminded parents to be their children’s first sexuality educators.

CPD Knowledge Management and Communications Division acting division chief Mylin Mirasol Quiray said that parents could start by teaching their kids to distinguish a bad touch from a good touch, and by calling sex organs as they are instead of “bird” or “flower.”

“You parents, you should be the first sexuality educator of your adolescent children. But you need to have good communication kasi paano kayo pupunta sa [how could you bring up] sexuality communication if you don’t talk about the little things at home,” Quiray said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon interview.

Citing data by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), CPD earlier reported that the total number of live births by adolescent mothers (aged 19 and below) rose 10.15%—from 136,302 in 2021 to 150,138 in 2022.

The number of live births from pregnancies among girls aged 14 and below also surged by 35.13% from 2,320 in 2021 to 3,135 in 2022.

Quiray said that children’s access to pornographic content online was also one of the factors for the high number of teenage pregnancies.

“Parents, tignan natin ang ating mga anak. In 2021, ang taas ng exposure [to porn] according to the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality study in the Philippines. Na-exacerbate pa ‘yan nung pandemic,” she said.

(Parents, let's observe our children. In 2021, there was a high exposure to pornography in the Philippines according to the Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality study. That was exacerbated during the pandemic.)

She also revealed that adolescents who engage in first time sex are usually “unprotected” or do not use any form of contraception. This also usually occurs at home when their parents are out.

“We see that the Philippines is a gold medalist in teen pregnancy cases. Isa tayo sa mga pinakamataas... Nakakalungkot man isipin pero ganyan ang reality na nangyayari sa ngayon lalo na sa very young adolescents aged 10 to 14,” Quiray added.

(The Philippines is one of the countries with highest teen pregnancy cases. This may be sad but it is the reality, especially for very young adolescents aged 10 to 14.)

With this alarming news, the CPD official thus called for the passage of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act, which provides for a national policy to prevent adolescent pregnancies and institutionalize social protection for adolescent parents.

This bill, which was unanimously approved in the House of Representatives in September last year, states that reproductive health and birth control services must be available with no need for consent from parents or legal guardians to adolescents below 15 years old who:

  • have already begun childbearing
  • are already pregnant
  • have experienced sexual abuse,
  • have had miscarriage
  • are sexually active or engaged in high-risk behavior
    —RF, GMA Integrated News