/ 31 January 2022

THE NUMBER of teenage mothers in the country dropped by 13 percent in 2020, the Commission on Population and Development said.

Last year, the country recorded only 157,060 child births from mothers under 19 years old, lower than 2019’s 180,915 births.

POPCOM said this is the sharpest decrease since 2003.

“This is good news for us and our partners who have been advocating for a reduction in teen pregnancies, as well as the health, population and social workers in local government units who stepped up their services in adolescent health to achieve this result,” POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said.

A substantial part of the decrease occurred in the 15 to 19 age group, with 23,557 mothers constituting 98.7 percent of the decline.

The daily birth rate of the 15 to 19 bracket was at 425, lower than 2019’s 489.

Meanwhile, there were 298 fewer births or 12 percent decrease in the number of childbirths among those aged 10 to 14. The average daily births went down from seven in 2019 to six in 2020.

The Philippine Statistics Authority also announced that adolescent birth rates were at 31 per 1,000 girls in 2020, significantly lower than 47 per 1,000 in the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey.

“Parents and their adolescent children have internalized an increased awareness about the problem of teen pregnancies with regard to the health and wellbeing of girls having children as minors,” Perez pointed out.

“The decline noted throughout the year serves as evidence that things are slowly changing for the better for our young women,” he added.

The Philippine Development Plan aimis for a rate of 37 births per 1,000, while POPCOM targets a 50 percent reduction from the baseline of 57 percent in the 2013 NDHS to 28 percent by 2022.