Press Release
February 26, 2021

Teen pregnancies in Northern Mindanao continue to rise in the last decade raising fears of its negative effect to the family and the economy of the region.   Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that teen pregnancies increased by 14% from 10,950 in 2011 to 12,435 in 2019.  What’s more alarming is that births among adolescents below 15 also increased by 185.48% or almost 3 folds from 62 births in 2011 to 177 births in 2019.

In Northern Mindanao, the highest number of adolescents who had given birth at a very young age was recorded in the Province of Bukidnon at 4, 988, followed by the Province of Misamis Oriental 2, 299 cases, and Cagayan de Oro 1, 745. Misamis Oriental also had one case of a 10-year-old child pregnant and gave birth in 2014.

The University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) projected that these numbers will likely increase by 42% in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic.  The health crisis immensely hampered the provision of reproductive health information and services to couples and adolescents.  Adolescent health and development programs and projects of the national, regional, and local levels were affected due the said pandemic.

In response, the Commission on Population and Development-Region X (POPCOM X) amplifies its call to strengthen the adolescent health and development (AHD) program in all cities and municipalities in the region, to ensure that adolescents are provided with comprehensive and appropriate information and services on sexuality and reproductive health. In addition, the critical role of parents in educating the youth is also to be strengthened through strategies designed to equip parents with knowledge and skills in communicating sexuality and reproductive health to enable them to help adolescents in their own homes.

For year 2021, local implementers are encouraged to identify strategies and establish mechanisms to battle the rising cases of early pregnancy. Local government units (LGUs) are also enjoined to step up the implementation of the population management program, specifically the AHD through policy development and enactment.
POPCOM Undersecretary Juan Antonio A. Perez, III said, “This requires more than a whole of government approach.   We are calling on the private sector, LGUs, development partners and relevant government agencies to collaborate closely with us in coming-up with a contextual and viable solutions this social problem facing head-on our adolescents and youth.”