'Areas of concern'

2 Cebu City barangays log high number of teenage pregnancy cases — POPCOM

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 14,2023 - 08:54 AM

Maria Lourdes Garillos talked with the reporters on Thursday, July 13, 2023 about the teenage pregnancy cases in Cebu City and Central Visayas. | CDN File photo by Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — An officer from the Commission on Population and Development in Central Visayas (POPCOM-7) has identified the two barangays here that logged high number of teenage pregnancy cases.

Barangay Inayawan and Barangay Mambaling have the highest number of teenage pregnancy cases in Cebu City as of 2022, according to Maria Lourdes Garillos, population program officer of POPCOM-7.

She said that there are also cases in other barangays in the city but these two barangays have the highest number among the 80 barangays with more than 80 cases each.

Areas of concern

She considered these barangays as the “areas of concern” in teenage pregnancy.

“This was also shared to us by our population officer Dr. Carmel Alegado when we had our population organization orientation conference last May 5,” Garillos said.

When asked what factors contributed to the number of cases, Garillos said that those who underwent “prenatal” could explain the actual factors.

Among the highly urbanized cities (HUC) in Central Visayas, she said that Cebu City has the highest number of teenage pregnancies.

The youngest age that they recorded was 10 years old in Central Visayas, however she did not specify which area in the region has the youngest case.

Subsequently, she said that even if the number of teenage pregnancy cases are not that high, it is still concerning.

“Because this is what we call ‘too young, too risky, and too soon,’ they are not ready ang ilahang reproductive health and even so ang ilahang future. Vague kaayo ilahang future. They are still in school. Unya prone kaayo sila for maternal and infant mortality ing ani nga mga kaso,” she added.

Lack of knowledge

However, based on monitoring from the regional office, she identified several factors that might contribute to teenage pregnancy.

“Una is because ang kaning mga kabatan-unan [kay] they are not aware. Wala kaayoy information acquisition in terms [sa] comprehensive sexuality education ug adolescent reproductive health,” she said.

She added that when a female reaches the age of menarche (when menstruation starts) and the male reaches the puberty stage where they can already produce sperm, pregnancy is possible, especially when they do not use contraceptives when they engage into sex.

In other words, early pregnancy occurs when both parties do not have an idea of what might happen and they do not use contraceptives.

Besides the lack of knowledge about sexual education, Garillos said that it is also because of the cases where the male is much older than the female.

“In fact as old as 70 years old, there are also cases nga probably rape siya,” she added.

Moreover, she said that there should be an “in-depth” research regarding this matter because they could only provide the surface of the figures and information.

“It’s very good to go into in-depth research labi na kung sa actual na gyud nga scenario, unsa nga situation, unsa nga context,” she added.

Intervention programs

Garillos said that they also have their teen centers and peer educators training program for adolescents.

“Naa tay ladderized trainings level 1 to 4 where we train our young adolescents to become peer educators. There’s the aspect of listening,” she said.

She added that they also encourage the establishment of teen centers or teen hubs so that the youth would participate in it.

Moreover, she told the reporters that they also partner with the National Youth Commission (NYC) and the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

“Instead nga they go to the activities like liga-liga, pa rampa-rampa, mas nindot kung dunay advocacy aspect nga advocating towards making known what is teenage pregnancy, makatabang pa,” she added.

Additionally, they also go to parenting talks, she said.

They also have a partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) where they do “heart to heart” talks in the schools.

2022 NDHS data

The Regional Statistical Services Office in Central Visayas of PSA-7 presented the final results of the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) on July 13, 2023, which focused on women’s and children’s health.

In the recent data, Central Visayas has over 8 million population, 2,062,682 of which are women of reproductive age, according to Garillos.

The 2022 NDHS data revealed that 5 percent of women aged 15 to 19 years old are pregnant in Central Visayas.

The following are the official data from NDHS survey covering the percentage of teenage pregnancy by region:

Ilocos – 2%
Cagayan Valley – 6%
Central Luzon – 8%
National Capital Region – 3%
Bicol – 2%
Western Visayas – 7%
Central Visayas – 5%
Eastern Visayas – 5%
Zamboanga Peninsula – 7%
Northern Mindanao – 11%
Davao – 8%
Caraga – 8%
Cordillera Administrative Region – 6%
Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – 3.1%

Screengrab from the 2022 NDHS Results in Central Visayas

2021 data

In the 2021 data presented by Garillos to the reporters on July 13, there are 10,717 teenage pregnancy cases aged 15 to 19 years old; while there are 164 cases under 15 years old.

In total, there are 10,881 teenage pregnancy cases in 2021.

Of the number, Cebu City has 1,628; Lapu-Lapu City has 504; Mandaue City has 613; Bohol has 1,514; Negros Oriental has 2,226; and Siquijor has 116.




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TAGS: Central Visayas, teenage pregnancy

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