Various studies conducted by government agencies and non-government entities just showed a rise in teenage pregnancy in the Bicol region.
The study also revealed that pre-teen girls from age 15 to pre-adult 19 are sexually active, from a low of 6.3% in 2002 to a jump of 7.3% in 2013.
The government agency Population Commission in the region revealed that 62.9% of Bicol youth or 2 in 3 of girls age ranging from 15 to 24 have sexual experience, without qualifying the percentage of sexual activity, whether low or high.
The study reavealed that Bicol has around 200,000 females in the identified age group.
The region has a total population of 5.7 million during the conduct of the study.
During one summit held in Albay about teen pregnancy, DOH-Bicol Director Dr. Napoleon Arevalo confirmed two known extreme cases of young girls getting pregnant, that of a 9-year old girl and another 10-year old girl.
But the DOH related that it only learned of the girls situation when they visited the rural health workers in their barangay for pre-natal consultations.
Arevalo said one of the girls was a victim of incest while the other became pregnant after having sex with her boyfriend. (A girl that young had already a boy friend!- ed.)
To this the good doctor suggested that parents should always look after the welfare of their children, especially their daughters.
Arevalo added the parents must be knowledgeable about the day-to-day activities of their children.
He added the parents should regulate their children’s access to social media and internet.
And perhaps, mobile phones, too.
On the national level, authorities estimate there 19 million girls to young adult in the age group 15 to 24 in the Philippines.
Results of the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) revealed that 1 in 10 young Filipino women, age 15-19, has begun childbearing while 8 percent are already mothers and another 2 percent are pregnant with their first child.
The survey results, which was released by the Philippine Statistical Authority in August 2014 also disclosed that 15 percent of young adult women, age 20 to 24, had their first marriage or began living with their first spouse or partner by age 18. (with PNA notes and stats)
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