The Challenge Initiative (TCI) in the Philippines began its “Business Unusual” Program, challenging the local government units to commit in building adolescent and youth-friendly communities to reduce unwanted teen pregnancies.

This is a joint initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Gates Institute), Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), in collaboration with the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), the program aims to energize the LGUs in developing key programs on family planning, adolescent sexuality, and reproductive health (ASRH) in the grassroots level.

Part of the challenge, TCI will provide technical assistance to participating LGUs in adopting proven intervention methods, with the end goal of replicating global best practices in building youth-friendly communities.

In the Philippines, the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Puerto Princesa, and Dipolog were the first LGUs to have undergone the TCI stages. At present, these LGUs are now up for the fourth (4th) and final phase of the approach.

Here in Caraga region, the POPCOM-Caraga is taking the lead in inviting LGUs to shape-up for the challenge.