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Teenage pregnancy rate down

25 April 2019



Teenage pregnancy has declined in the last six years to 47 for every 1,000 women but the rate remains alarming, according to the Commission on Population (PopCom).

Five years since the constitutionality of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law was upheld by the Supreme Court (SC), the Philippines is still grappling with a high number of teenage pregnancy cases, PopCom director for Region 4 Lydio Espanol said.

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Based on the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), the country’s teenage pregnancy had declined to 47 live births per 1,000 women aged 15-19.

Elizabeth Angsioco, chairperson of Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines, clarified that while the figures have declined, the “actual number” of teenage women getting pregnant remains high.

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“There are serious problems on the ground, really. We should still be alarmed because if you consider the absolute number, the growth of the population in those years, then I would even say there might be more of our girls getting pregnant,” Angsioco said.

She maintained that this is “problematic” because the ones getting pregnant early are the poor and those who have little education.

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Aside from this, misinformation about contraceptives is also hampering the government’s family planning initiatives.

Angsioco cited an incident where a pastor said that the subdermal implant had “666” markings on it to discourage parishioners from using the contraceptive.
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