Together with the Zuellig Family Foundation, the Commission on Population and Development responded to the call of the Local Government Unit of Butuan for the institutionalization and implementation of “The Challenge Initiative” project to address the necessary plan of action to combat early and teenage pregnancy.

LGU Butuan through its City Population Office, expresses the interest for the establishment of TCI Project in the city to reinforce its thrust and direction in creating a solution to the uprising cases of teenage pregnancy.

Meanwhile, POPCOM Deputy Executive Director, Lolito R. Tacardon highlighted the need to institutionalize the TCI Project in Butuan City as it is considered the regional center of Caraga and contributed to the 80 percent of highest live births from mothers aged 10-17 years old in the province of Agusan del Norte.

Director Tacardon also added that Agusan del Norte has the 3rd highest live births from mothers aged 10-17 in Caraga, with 456 counts spotting to 26 percent to all cases.

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.

Present during the conference, were POPCOM Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Lolito R. Tacardo; POPCOM Caraga Regional Director, Alexander A. Makinano; Chief of Party of the ZFF-TCI Philippines, Dr. Dorie Lyn O. Balanoba; City Councilors of Butuan, Hon. Cherry Mae Busa and Hon. Cynth Nietes and City Population Officer Designate of Butuan. Dr. Josephince Chua and staff.

Representatives from different partner agencies and Civil Society Organizations like CHED, DepEd, DSWD, NYC, DOH, FGSCBI, ReachHealth, and Jhpiego also joined the said online activity.

The Expression of Interest sent by the City Population of Butuan will be processed and subjected for the next phase if they will meet the needed requirements.