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Nanay na si nene! De Lima wants Senate to probe rising teenage pregnancies

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Senator Leila De Lima has asked the Senate to look into the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the country, as latest government show over 1 million girls become mothers at a young age.

De Lima’s Senate Resolution (SR) No. 169 directs the appropriate Senate committee to investigate the sharp rise in teenage pregnancies and review the status of implementation of existing law on responsible parenthood and reproductive health.

The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) recently called on President Rodrigo Duterte to declare adolescent pregnancy a national emergency amid the alarming growth in the number of pregnancies among teenagers.

PopCom said about 1.2 million adolescents, some as young as 10 years old, have children every year. About 30,000 young mothers have already experienced repeated pregnancies.

Based on the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey, one in every 10 Filipino women aged 15 to 19 is already a mother or pregnant with her first child, concluding that early pregnancy is more prevalent among poor households.

“In line with this phenomenon, it must be noted that the Philippines is the only country among its regional neighbors that is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of teenage pregnancies,” De Lima said.

De Lima said the rise in number of teenage pregnancies makes the review of Republic Act (RA) 10354 or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 urgent.

The law mandates the government to provide age- and development- appropriate reproductive health education to adolescents which shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in informal and non-formal educational system.

“It is necessary to conduct a comprehensive assessment and review of [this law] to ensure its effective implementation, guarantee the compliance of concerned government agencies and stakeholders and provide accessible and relevant education to the youth,” De Lima said.

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