POPCOM-10 Regional Director Jeremias C. Gupit revealed alarming information on population trends in northern Mindanao during his TV and radio interviews at ABS-CBN’s Pamahaw Espesyal and 91.9 MOR FM’s Balitaktakan on January 10, 2017.
“According to the survey of Commission on Population – Region X, Northern Mindanao has more than 70,000 babies born per year from 2010 to 2015. This is equivalent to nine (9) babies born per hour and this is very alarming”, Director Gupit said.
To address the said issue, Director Gupit emphasized the importance of educating couples on responsible parenthood and family planning (RP-FP). “There are lots of couples who want to limit or space the numbers of their children but fail. This failure is the result of a lack of information about RP-FP”, Director Gupit added.
Aside from RP-FP, he also stressed the need for age-appropriate sexuality education in schools. Based on the result of the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study in Region 10, there has been an increase in the numbers of teenagers involving early sexual encounters (ESE). “The worst-case scenario here is that they are getting YOUNGER 90% of these sexual encounters among young people are unprotected against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, HIV, and AIDS”, Director Gupit said.
YAFSS4 2013 indicated that the incidence of teenage pregnancy in Northern Mindanao has more than doubled compared to the previous survey in 2008.
During the interview, Director Gupit made a call to everyone to act on this matter. He mentioned some POPCOM initiatives like mobilizing Barangay Population Volunteers (BPVs) to conduct home visits and share information on RP-FP to couples, conduct Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD) activities like Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health (ASRH) classes and U4U roll-outs, strengthening linkages with local chief executives and other partner agencies to address the said issue.
“This is a great challenge to all of us, this calls for collaboration of government and private sectors to minimize if not totally eradicate the problem,” Director Gupit said.