SENATOR PUSHES TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION BILL
SENATOR Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday pushed anew the passage of the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bill amid reports that teen pregnancies rose by 7 percent in 2019.
Senate Bill 161, authored by Hontiveros, aims to provide social protection to young parents by ensuring that they receive health care in all stages of pregnancy; proper guidance and information to prevent repeat pregnancies and counseling to help them raise their child.
“Ang patuloy na pagtaas ng bilang ng mga maagang nabubuntis ay dagdag pang pagsubok sa kalusugan at kapakanan ng pamilyang Filipino sa gitna ng pandemya at economic crisis. This remains a frightening epidemic in the middle of a pandemic,” Hontiveros said.
“That the teen pregnancy crisis has continued for a decade and continues to spike today goes to show that the prevention of teen pregnancy cannot take a backseat, even as we battle Covid19. It must be in the front row of the policies we need to discuss immediately to recover from the pandemic and to stem the worsening poverty,” she said.
Hontiveros cited data from the Commission on Population and Development that shows pregnancies among 10-14 years old or very young adolescents had been on the rise since 2011 and has increased as much as 63 percent, which means teens deliver 504 babies per day.
“Kapag hindi natugunan itong paglobo ng teenage pregnancy, makakadagdag ito sa bigat na dinadala ng ating healthcare system, ng ating ekonomiya, at, sa pangmatagalan, ng ating mga plano para sa susunod na henerasyon,” she added.
According to POPCOM, 130,000 babies from women younger than 20-years old were fathered by men who are 20 years of age or older.
“How many of these young children were sexually abused? Sa ngayon, malabo pa ang datos. Importante na magkaroon tayo ng batas na magpoprotekta ng mga kababaihan natin, lalo ang mga anak natin who have no choice now but to take on the burden of motherhood,” the senator said.
Hontiveros said she is willing to compromise on amendments as long as the bill, which is in the period of interpellation, moves forward.
“We need to pass this measure so we can put crucial programs in place as soon as we can. Kailangang simulan na ang mga programa para mapigilan ito sa lalong madaling panahon,” she said.
“Huwag nating pabayaan na dumami pa ang mga kabataang Filipinong mapagkakaitan ng magandang kinabukasan dahil sa maagang pagbubuntis. There will be consequences for the future of our nation if we do not seriously solve this epidemic of teen pregnancy,” Hontiveros said.