/ 9 February 2021

CAMARINES Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. has filed a measure that seeks the evaluation of public and private programs to curb teenage pregnancy.

House Bill 8533 or the proposed Teenage Pregnancy Reduction Act mandates the Department of Health, in coordination with the Departments of Education, Social Welfare and Development, Science and Technology and the Population Commission to evaluate programs to prevent pregnancy in adolescents, including those that do not receive funds from the government.

The evaluation will determine the effectiveness of the programs, the factors contributing to their effectiveness and the feasibility of replicating them in other locations.

Villafuerte admitted an increase in unwanted pregnancy among teenagers.

He said teenage pregnancy has become a significant and far-reaching social problem that affects not only the quality of life for the teenagers, but also their families and the community as a whole.

“For both sexes, teenage pregnancy has a very negative effect on education, occupational and economic satisfaction, and success for teenagers,” the lawmaker said.

He reminded the public that teenage pregnancy leads to higher risks to the life of both the young mother and her child.

Studies show that infants born to teenagers are more likely to be underweight and premature.