On April 30, 2021, the Provincial Population Office of Nueva Vizcaya conducted a virtual seminar on Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Alternative Modalities in reaching out to parents and adolescents during the pandemic. A total of 121 school heads and teachers from the different schools in the province attended the activity. These trained school heads and teachers will be tapped to conduct AHD sessions for the parents and their adolescent children.

During the activity, Ms. Elvira G. Tongson, Population Program Officer III and Provincial Population Officer – Designate presented the status of teenage pregnancy cases in Nueva Vizcaya. She emphasized that over the past three years, the province consistently topped the spot with the highest cases of teenage pregnancy in Region 2 although the cases slightly dropped in 2020.

During the same year, the Municipality of Solano recorded 157 cases of teenage pregnancy placing the area in the first spot followed by Bayombong with 135 cases and Bagabag with 104.

With the alarming data, Ms. Maria Concepcion D. Absalon, Education Program Supervisor of the Department of Education-Division of Nueva Vizcaya shared the importance of mainstreaming comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and integrating CSE key concepts in the K to 12 curriculum.

“What children and young people at different ages should know and understand; what situations or challenges they should be able to handle at those ages; and which values and attitudes they need to develop are the key messages of the CSE,” hence as the forefront in educating adolescents, we should first understand these concepts for us to effectively relay the messages,” Ms. Absalon said.

In addition, POPCOM-Region II Director Herita O. Macarubbo underscored the vital role of teachers in nurturing the knowledge and skills of adolescents to make better choices for themselves and for their future.

“Teachers spend more time with children which gives them the privilege to inculcate life-long learnings to them. With your help, we hope to educate more adolescents about their sexual and reproductive health and rights,” RD Macarubbo added.

She also mentioned that POPCOM 2 together with the Provincial Population Office of Nueva Vizcaya will provide any necessary support to assist DepEd in the implementation of CSE by providing important knowledge in terms of adolescent sexuality and health.            

Meanwhile, participants also ensured to commit their full support in addressing the challenging issue of adolescent pregnancy as well as other adolescent health and development–related issues.#