PREGNANCIES among very young adolescents (VYA), or those between 10 and 14 years old, continued to rise in the country in 2018, based on the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as it noted an increase from 1,958 births in 2017 to 2,250 the year after.
On the other hand, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) noted that the synergized adolescent health and development initiatives of government have borne fruit, evidenced with a marked decline in the number of births from teenage mothers 15 to 19 years old.
Data from the PSA’s Civil Registration and Vital Statistics revealed that the said teenage group saw a decrease in the number of births from 182,906 in 2017 to 181,717 in 2018.
However, the number of births by VYAs has been increasing since 2011 (1,381) to 2018 (2,250), which is a 63 percent rise. Total births from adolescents actually declined to 183,967 births despite the increase in births from VYAs or 504 deliveries per day.
In a recent Senate hearing on various Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bills, Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III pointed out to lawmakers that there are about 130,000 babies from women younger than 20-years old who were fathered by men who are 20 years of age or older.
To address the foregoing conditions, the PopCom chief is actively pushing for the passage of the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bill. This developed as Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and PopCom Chairman Ernesto Pernia has declared teen pregnancy situation in the Philippines as a “national social emergency.”