Abilan, Buenavista – Amidst threats and challenges face by Filipino adolescents today, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) intensifies its advocacy for an effective information and service delivery network (ISDN) to ensure harmonized and complementary interventions and a more comprehensive and holistic services from different stakeholders in a locality.

Recognizing the issues, POPCOM has promoted the establishment of ISDN for adolescent health and development, a mechanism to consolidate and integrate existing information and service interventions in a locality into one single functional network. Information and services, programs related to adolescent health and development will be provided by different organizations including government agencies and civil society organizations operating within a given area. Services for adolescent health include those that ensure the health and wellness, social, psychological, and total well-being of young people.

In the recently concluded seminar-workshop for the establishment of ISDN for AHD organized by POPCOM Caraga, program partners from areas of Bislig City, Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte, were oriented and able to appreciate the concept of said initiative.

Part of POPCOM’s continuing advocacy and to further strengthen and sustain the said initiative, Director Alexander A. Makinano emphasized that setting up a teen center in their respective area is a priority for this will serve as a one-stop-shop facility where adolescents and youth can easily access a wide range of information and services to ensure their health and well-being.

Makinano further said that teen center will also be the hub and extension of services by the member agencies, however, ISDN could exist even without a teen center.

POPCOM accented the need for a youth-friendly facility to avoid stigma attached to young people going to regular health service facility, thus, the agency urges program partners and stressed the need for ISDN to further address said issue.

In Caraga, areas of Surigao City, Butuan City, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Sur, and a few areas of Agusan del Norte and Surigao del Norte, have already established ISDN and with operational teen centers.

Establishment of ISDN for AHD and operationalize school-based or community-based teen centers are among the key strategies of Adolescent Health and Development Program (AHDP) that aim to significantly reduce adolescent pregnancies through responsible sexuality and effective life skills among young people.

POPCOM disclosed that the various issues including the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancy being faced by young people of today are caused by complex and interrelated factors such as lack of access to appropriate and comprehensive information and services related to their sexual health and development, among others.

On one hand, POPCOM italicized that the health and well-being of adolescents and youth remain a key development concern as they continue to be threatened by various issues and challenges that impede their full growth and development.