The number of births among women ages 10-14 in Region 2 almost doubled over the past eight (8) years with 55 cases in 2011 to 109 in 2019 according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Report.
The region registered a total of 6,907 number of live births among adolescents aged 13-19 in 2018 and 6,429 in 2019. Although the cases went down by almost 7 percent from 2018-2019, the absolute numbers are still significant.
At least 12 percent of the total live births in 2019 are from adolescent mothers. The data also reveals that the number of adolescent births increases significantly as they grow older. These births are highest among girls ages 17-19. For the past four years, the youngest girl who gave birth is at age 12 while from 2015-2016, four (4) girls gave birth at age 10.
Among the five (5) provinces in Region 2, Nueva Vizcaya recorded the highest adolescent birth rate with 2.52 percent followed by Quirino with 2.42 percent. Among the cities, Santiago City recorded the highest rate with 2.70 percent followed by the City of Cauayan with 2.17 percent.
With these alarming adolescent birth rates, POPCOM-Region II Director Herita O. Macarubbo encourages the local government units (LGUs) and all stakeholders and key players to create a more aggressive and holistic interventions in addressing this issue.
“We should provide safe spaces and appropriate strategies for adolescents to realize their goals and discover their potentials for them to become responsible individuals. This will prevent them from engaging in sexual and non-sexual risky behaviours that may lead to early sexual debut and teenage pregnancy,” she said. Moreover, she emphasized the critical role of parents in guiding their adolescent children.
As stated by POPCOM Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez, national government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other relevant agencies are developing the guidelines for the implementation of the Social Protection Program that will benefit adolescent mothers and their children nationwide as one of the major actions to address teenage pregnancy which is considered as a national social emergency.