UN Body Lauds Decline in Albay Teen Pregnancies

By Cet Dematera (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 18, 2013 – 12:00am

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The pregnancy rate among teenagers in Albay has declined in the past two years, thanks to direct reproductive health interventions and education assistance programs.

During the signing of a letter of understanding with the provincial government last week, United Nations Population Fund Agency (UNPFA) country representative Ugochi Daniels said teenage pregnancy in the Philippines surged by 70 percent from 1999 to 2009.

Daniels said a strong advocacy campaign is needed to educate and advise Filipino female teens about the dangers of early pregnancy and to inform them about reproductive health in general.

Daniels though noted the decline in Albay’s teenage pregnancies in the past two years, listing the province among those with low pregnancy rates in the country.

Gov. Joey Salceda, quoting a report from the Albay Provincial Population Office, said the province’s teenage pregnancy rate had dropped by eight percent, or from 1,700 cases in 2011 to 1,571 in 2012.

“Albay has one of the lowest teenage pregnancies (in the Philippines) at only 24 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19 versus a national rate of 53 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19,” Salceda told The STAR in an e-mail.

Aside from direct reproductive health interventions being jointly implemented by the provincial government, UNPFA and the Department of Health that resulted in the decline in teenage pregnancies, Salceda said massive education-based programs also significantly contributed to this.

“Intuitively, the second most likely reason for the low teenage pregnancy in Albay was our aggressive college tuition financing,” he said.

“Our tertiary beneficiaries leapt to 34,000 in 2012 from only 14,600 in 2010. Keep the kids busy, keep them in school. In the long run, higher educational attainment should lead to higher career ambitions, therefore greater deferral of marriage and thus pregnancies,” Salceda added.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/2013/03/18/920943/un-body-lauds-decline-albay-teen-pregnancies

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