The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) – Region II conducted a virtual orientation on the localization of The Challenge Initiative (TCI) with the Regional  Adolescent Heath and Development (AHD) Technical Working Group (RTWG) on April 29, 2021.

The orientation aimed to provide a virtual platform of discourse and engagement between and among the participating agencies towards attainment of the TCI goals in establishing adolescent friendly cities and communities and to address the alarming issue of teenage pregnancies.

POPCOM Deputy Executive Director Lolito R. Tacardon said the TCI is a business unusual platform that empowers cities and local governments to rapidly and sustainably scale best practice health and development interventions to benefit urban communities.

Apart from the discussion of commitments among the agencies, comments were also solicited on the Expression of Interest (EOI), the formal political and financial commitment towards the Challenge Initiative goals, submitted by the Local Government Unit of Santiago City which was lauded and has achieved positive feedbacks.

Santiago City Mayor Joseph S. Tan expressed gratitude to POPCOM and the members of the TWG for their support and pledged sustained interventions to uplift the lives of every Santiagueño.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bernard Faustino Dy of the City of Cauayan also expressed his full interest in engaging with TCI this year.

The Initiative is led by Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in various continents and countries. The TCI in the Philippines is being pursued in partnership with ZFF and POPCOM and with prospective cities to be enrolled in the initiative with focus on reducing and preventing the incidence of teenage pregnancies in the cities.