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The National Youth Commission (NYC) this past Friday expressed alarm over the rise in teenage pregnancies in the Philippines that was disclosed in a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).pregnant filipina

The report, which I read online at ABS CBN new.com, said the Philippines now ranks FIRST among ASEAN’s (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) 6 major economies in teenage pregnancy with a rate of 53 in every 1,000 women aged 15 to 19.

“This problem is growing exponentially. It is becoming commonplace in the youth’s field of experience. Most young people would usually have a friend or know a peer who became pregnant at a young age,” NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña said in a statement.

NYC also said a study showed that unplanned pregnancy is one of the main reasons why teens fail to finish schooling.

“Teen pregnancy has many dimensions and its strongest impact is on the young mother whose future will be jeopardized because she needs to take on the responsibilities of being a mother at a very young age,” said Cendaña.

Cendaña urged lawmakers to pass the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, saying that the need for an RH policy “is so obvious now more than ever.”

“Age-appropriate reproductive health education is key to influencing the lifestyle of young people so that they can be made more responsible of their actions,” he added.

But you might ask, how can this be? Isn't the Philippines overwhelming Catholic?  Around 84% of the population claims to be.

But that didn't stop a couple of our nieces in the Philippines from getting pregnant in their teen years. The one young lady was going to attend college and had done very well in school. Well, two babies later, the chances of this unmarried Filipina attaining a higher education are very doubtful. Frankly, whatever she learned in Mass must have  quickly been forgotten in the heat of passion.

Cendaña wants to put the bulk of the blame on the rise in teen pregnancy in the Philippines on the failure to pass the RH Bill. I talked to my asawa about this story. She rightly points out, I believe, that many of the kids are going unsupervised,  and this has a major negative impact on family life. Our teen-aged niece with the two babies has not had the influence of her father around most of her life. He's been working overseas as a seaman for decades.

Many children have a parent or parents working abroad as OFWs, Overseas Filipino Workers. With almost 10% of the Philippine populations away from their families, I believe my spouse has a valid point.  As she stated to me, many of the parents just send money back home to the lola (grandma), and sometimes the kids are not left with the proper parental supervision they need.

Would the RH Bill help? Probably. But with the Catholic Church vehemently opposing it,  as it has done for years, it is doubtful that it will ever become law in the Philippines. But something needs to be done. With the soaring birthrate in the PH continuing to be unchecked,  the rising teen pregnancy rate is adding to the economic woes of this country. I see enough starving children around here. It breaks my heart.

The proposed Reproductive Health Bill does NOT legalize abortion, but does aim to guarantee universal access to methods and information on birth control and maternal care. More jobs for Filipinos so they do not have to work overseas and leave their families would also help. And what about the teens practicing abstinence? That's always an option. Imagine that. 

11 thoughts on “Teen Pregnancy Rise in Philippines Alarms Officials

  1. When the country’s major export is people you tend to have MAJOR problems. Don’t blame the church but blame the family or the lack of family. If the child can’t get their needs fulfilled at home they will go else where. Children cannot raise themselves. Children should not have children.

    Ouch! Did I say that? Yep! Meant it too. 😀

    1. Sorry Gary, I still feel the Catholic Church must take on some of the blame, I feel free contraception should be available to any Filipino girl/women that chooses to avail themselves of it. They however disagree with me.

    1. Gary, I tell folks that I run things in my house….the vacumn, dishwasher, washing machine…….
      A friend of mine used to tell me he wears the pants in the family….after his wife out-growed them!

      1. You and I must think a lot alike. I don’t get to iron my clothes anymore because she can’t stand to see me slave over one shirt for 20 minutes. I’m just inept!

        1. Dave, Randy, Gary,
          I’m the only one in the house, so i have
          no choice but to do it lol. Teen Pregnancy start with lack of parental supervision period. But it would not hurt to pas the Reproductive Health Bill. Have a wonderful day.

        2. My asawa told me I was wasting energy when I was ironing a shirt on the first month here in the USA and I have given up on folding shirts and pants from the wash. I’ll still jump in and do chores because I know she appreciates it. On my second visit to see her back in 2009, I jumped up to help with the dishes after dinner and helped with the sweeping inside and outside our home. (Yes, it’s hard being 6’5″ and using that little broom). It was fun watching her tell the story of helping her to family and friends later on the vacation when we were visiting her parents.

  2. A Mormon acquaintance once pushed Mark Twain into an argument on the issue of polygamy. After long and tedious expositions justifying the practice, the Mormon demanded that Twain cite any passage of scripture expressly forbidding polygamy.

    “Nothing easier,” Twain replied. “No man can serve two masters.”

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