Press Release
August 22, 2017


Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros attended the first round of hearings on the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act this Tuesday, August 22, 2017.

Senate Bill 1482, otherwise known as the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act, calls for the development of a National Program of Action and an investment plan for the prevention of teenage pregnancy. It also mandates all provinces and chartered cities to organize and operationalize and Information and Service Delivery Network for Adolescent Health and Development (ISDN-AHD).

Consisting of both government and non-government institutions, each ISDN-AHD will provide health and information services specific to the needs of adolescents such as age, development appropriate, and comprehensive sexuality education. Topics will include but will not be limited to: human sexuality, consent, adolescent reproductive health, effective contraceptive use, disease prevention, HIV/AIDS, healthy lifestyle, gender sensitivity and violence.

"About five girls aged 10 to 14 become pregnant or give birth to a child every day. This deprives the girl of the ability to live the life of a teenager. At that age, the physiological development of the child is still incomplete, and being pregnant at that age poses a serious risk to both the teenager and the child. We need to create mechanisms that will arrest teenage pregnancies and protect future generations by ensuring our youth get adequate education on their sexuality, their development as teenagers, and responsible personal health," Hontiveros said. Senator Hontiveros currently serves as the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Family Relations, and Gender Equality.

Teenage pregnancy increases in the country have been a growing concern. Data from the Commission on Population (PopCom) reveals that the number of teenage pregnancy cases has increased from 1,700 in 2014 to 1,986 in 2015. Representatives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) say that teenage pregnancy remains a challenge in the Philippines, this despite the country's strong support for family planning.

"Every Filipina deserves the opportunity to live a full life with the widest set of choices possible for her self-fulfillment. Teenage pregnancy robs Filipina women of the ability to choose by limiting their social and educational options at such a young age. We need to take organized, sustained and collective action to ensure they have the best available opportunities at securing their future," Hontiveros said.

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