Amidst the current health crisis, an increasing number of cases of teenage pregnancy around the region was seen out of the data gathered by the Commission on Population and Development – Caraga.

In a data presented by Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano of POPCOM-Caraga during the 2nd Gender and Development Focal Point System Virtual Meeting, 2337 cases of teens aging 15-19 years old were pregnant on the first quarter of the year while 2081 teens are pregnant during the 2nd quarter, the time where first confirmed cases of COVID-19 were tallied. 

Director Makinano said that behavioral problems mixed up with the lack of parental supervision and limited support mechanisms resulted in risky sexual activities among young people. 

RD Makinano added that the rise of Gender-Based Violence in the region including children brings a glimpse that these are inclined with the boom of teenage pregnancy. Lack of education is also included in the list of factors of teenage pregnancy. 

Girls who engage in early sex that resulted in pregnancy are greatly at the risk of costing their lives and their child. According to the Commission, a teenage mom who is not well educated can’t assume parental and familial responsibilities, in conclusion, they are still dependent on their parents and families. Teenage mothers are also considered at risk of depression as they are new to the norm of taking responsibility for a child. 

With these risks brought by teenage pregnancy, RD Makinano encouraged boys to foresee their future when they engage in premarital/teenage sex. RD Makinano advises them to avoid risky behaviors such as having sex with their partners that could result in an unwanted pregnancy, instead, they could encourage their partners to finish their education before engaging in sex. 

During this health crisis, the Commission concreted the flagship strategies of the Adolescent Health and Development Program (AHDP) in combating the risk of teenage pregnancy by conducting virtual orientations and seminars regarding responsible adolescent sexuality, and house-to-house, one-on-one campaign with the help of the population workers and volunteers.