The number of children having children or those who are below 15 years old that are getting pregnant doubled in 10 years, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) reported.
According to PopCom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III, pregnancies among children aged 10 to 14 years old increased to 2,200 in 2018, more than double the 1,000 in 2007.
“It’s the one figure that has been increasing,” the PopCom official said during Senate budget hearing on Thursday.
“We have roughly … 40 to 50 10-year-old children giving birth every year,” he added.
Perez also said around 62,000 minors aged 10 to 18 who gave birth in 2018.
Currently, the statutory rape age in the Philippines is only 12 years old.
“I am sure the number of teenage pregnancies would go down if we could increase the statutory rape age,” he said.
Perez stressed that older men impregnated most teenage mothers in the Philippines.
Number of children having children rising – PopCom
“There’s an element of power play or exploitation here because it’s older men who are the partners of these young [women]. The proposal of Senator Zubiri to bring up the age of consent to 16 or 18 would at least scare off these predators,” he said.