/ 1 April 2021

QUEZON City 5th District Representative Alfred Vargas filed a measure seeking the formulation of a national policy for the prevention of teenage pregnancies in the country.

Vargas’ House Bill 9064 or the proposed Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act also seeks to institutionalize social protection for teenage parents.

Citing a 2017 survey that showed that one in every 10 young women bears a child, Vargas, in his explanatory note, said that teenage pregnancy is among the most serious problems faced by young Filipinos.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority also confirmed that there is an upward trend in pregnancy of very young adolescents, with 2,411 girls giving birth in 2019.

“This is equivalent to seven very young adolescents giving birth per day in 2019. This number increased three-fold from 755 in 2000 to 2,411 in 2019 — in two decades. Overall, 62,510 children gave birth in the country in 2019,” Vargas said.

The measure mandates the formulation of the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Council that will develop a national program of action and investment plan for the prevention of pregnancy.

The Council shall work with the Commission on Population, the Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, National Youth Commission and three civil society organizations.

The bill also provides training for teachers, guidance counselors, school supervisors and school nurses on Adolescent Reproductive Health Curriculum.

It prescribes the mandatory establishment of functional Local Teen Centers for Adolescent Health and Development in all municipalities.