By encouraging local government units to quickly and sustainably scale best-practice health programs to support urban deprived communities, the Commission on Population and Development took control of the nation’s fight against the rise in teen pregnancy.

POPCOM, in collaboration with other regional offices and local government units in Mindanao, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, launched The Challenge Initiative to local legislators on April 20, 2021, to combat the rising number of teen pregnancy, especially during this pandemic.

The Challenge Initiative gives cities a bold strategy to scale high-impact family planning and reproductive health strategies for women and girls living in urban poverty quickly and sustainably.

TCI also helps cities scale up evidence-based family planning strategies that have been proven to function in urban environments in developing countries by assisting local communities with the design, implementation, and monitoring of these solutions.

According to POPCOM Deputy Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon, over 10,000 teenagers between the ages of 10 and 17 gave birth in 2019, raising concerns about the danger to the mother and child.

Director Tacardon also emphasizes the importance of local government units, particularly uprising cities, in combating the problem by contributing their own financial and human resources.

Undersecretary of POPCOM, Dr. Juan Antonio A. Perez, urges all cities to adapt the “The Challenge Initiative” program to combat teen pregnancy and other health and physical abuse complications.