CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — The Provincial Government of Bulacan through the Provincial Youth, Sports, and Public Employment Service Office (PYSPESO) recently launched the YouthTube or Youth Talakayan, Ugnayan, Balitaan, Etc. with its first episode entitled “Responsible Youth Towards a Life ReadY for the Future” (RYTLYF) via their Facebook Account PYSPESO Bulacan.
Atty. Kenneth Ocampo-Lantin, PYSPESO head said on Monday (Sept. 14), teenage pregnancy is multifaceted and is considered as a national burden, which is why Gov. Daniel R Fernando wanted to find a way to reach the youths and their parents especially now that most people stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our office has already launched this RYTLYF back in 2007 kung saan bumaba sila sa mga eskwelahan at kung saan may mataas na kaso ng teenage pregnancy, pero ngayon nakakita tayo ng oportunidad kung saan inaasahan natin na mas marami ang makakapakinig at matututo, at ito nga ay sa pamamagitan ng Facebook na gamit na gamit ng mga kabataan ngayon,” Ocampo-Lantin said.
She added that according to the 2019 Poverty Indicator Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were 2.97 million out of school youths in the country thus 61.9% of those are girls ages 16-24, who married early and/or pregnant.
Patricia Ann Alvaro, Provincial Health Education and Promotion Officer from PHO-PH, and one of the resource speakers said in her presentation that teenage parenthood is a global burden as much as it is locally.
She said that globally, 21 million girls ages 15-19 become pregnant annually and approximately 12 million give birth, wherein 770,000 of these births occur to adolescent girls younger than 15 years old.
“Ayon po sa POPCOM, 200,000 Filipino teens get pregnant each year and that more and more 10-14 years old get pregnant. Now we also have what we call lockdown burden kung saan mas tumataas ang kaso nito kahit may curfew, kaya nga nanawagan ang POPCOM kay Pangulong Duterte na ideklara ito bilang national emergency,” Alvaro explained.
Alvaro also discussed the implications of teenage parenthood including changes in their everyday life, from having sleepless nights to changing diapers and breastfeeding; the cost of taking care of a baby estimated from P150,000 to P500,000 for a year; health risks to mothers including vulnerability to anemia, mental stress, postpartum depression; health risks for babies like low birth weight, may have premature organ systems or more likely to die; risks to children of teen parents including school failure, mental retardation, insufficient health care, poverty, abuse and neglect; and burden to the economy.
She also tackled the ways to fight teenage pregnancy through the acronym ERASE or Empower yourself with accurate information, have Respectful relationships, practices Abstinence from sex, be Safe from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and Education.
John Bryan Villanueva from the Department of Education-Bulacan said that sex education starts in schools as early as Grade 7 and that they are not teaching about how to have sex but how to be responsible for having sex.
Moreover, Katherine Faustino from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office said that teaching sex education starts at home and will begin when a child first asks about the matter. (RONDA BALITA Online)