Press Release
February 7, 2023

Hontiveros renews call to pass bill curbing teen pregnancies

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday pushed anew for the passage of the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy Bill, amid a rising trend of girls aged 10-14 getting pregnant.

"While the trend for teen pregnancies among girls aged 15-19 is declining, a recent worrisome trend among girls aged 10-14 has been emerging. Nakakabahala na dumadami ang mga ganito kabatang babae na nabubuntis ng wala sa panahon at ng walang suporta," Hontiveros said.

In 2020, the Philippine Statistics Authority recorded 2,113 births of very young girls aged 10-14. A year later, this number increased to 2,299 births, according to data from the Department of Health.

Hontiveros highlighted that there have already been efforts by local chief executives in the province of Isabela, the cities of Naga, Tuguegarao, and Quezon City, to combat the issue of adolescent pregnancies through the issuance and approval of ordinances and implementation of relevant programs.

"The initiatives of these LGUs demonstrate that local leaders see an urgent need to address the concerns of adolescent parents. Alam ng mga LGU ang realidad sa mga komunidad kaya't kailangan narin masuportahan ito ng isang national policy," Hontiveros said.

During the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality hearing, teen parent Carmela Bondoc said that it is important for young moms like her to receive culturally sensitive, age- and development-appropriate adolescent and health education.

"Edukasyon na tamang gagabay sa amin. Impormasyon na galing sa mga health professionals. Impormasyong tama. Impormasyong hindi ipagkakait sa amin ng dahil sa panghuhusga. Edukasyong nagbibigay ng dignidad sa aming desisyon para sa sarili," she said.

Hontiveros expressed support for Carmela's statement, further encouraging national government agencies and stakeholders to listen to the lived experiences of young parents like Carmela in addressing teenage pregnancy cases in the country.

"Adolescent pregnancy has deprived many girls of an education, of job opportunities, of a future. But this doesn't have to be the case. Ipasa na natin ang Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy Bill para makapagbigay ng tunay na suporta at serbisyong naninindigan sa dignidad at karapatan ng ating kabataan," Hontiveros concluded.

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