QC lawmaker pushes passage of adolescent pregnancy prevention bill
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City 1st district Rep. Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde is pushing for the passage of a measure seeking to prevent adolescent pregnancy in the country, which has the highest teenage birth rates among member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Atayde, who also authored House Bill 7276 or the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act, urges his colleagues to form similar policies to help aid the country’s problem on adolescent pregnancy.
“We are hoping that this bill on adolescent pregnancy is passed so we can create immediate policies on how we put a solution to this grave problem,” Atayde, a House Committee on Youth and Sports Development member, said in a statement issued Sunday.
Atayde also recently approved a substitute bill creating a national policy “to address adolescent pregnancy as well as social protection for adolescent parents.”
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority and United National Population Fund’s (UNFPA) data, even though teenage pregnancy among ages 15 to 19 dipped from 14.4 percent in 2013 to 7.2 percent in 2021, the number of births given by ages 10 to 14 slightly increased from 1,903 in 2016 and 2,113 in 2020.
He also stressed that teenage pregnancy is a dilemma that could last for generations.
“We need to open our minds and have immediate action on how we resolve this problem,” Atayde said.
Under the lawmaker’s proposed measure, an Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Inter-Agency Council would also be established to “formulate and implement policies for family-oriented, adolescent-friendly sexual and reproductive health programs” and mandated to develop “an evidence-based National Medium-Term Plan for teenage pregnancy prevention.
“The plan would serve as the national framework for inter-agency and inter-sectoral collaboration and resource allocation at all levels, to address the various health, cultural socio-economic and institutional determinants of adolescent pregnancy,” the statement reads.
The bill is being pushed by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc, which is built with members of Congress and other advocates to create policies on population management and socio-economic development.
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