Teenage pregnancy increase in Zamboanga City puzzles PopCom

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Officials of the Commission on Population () are surprised by the sudden increase in the number of in Zamboanga City from April to June this year.

According to the “Unang Balita” report, the number reached 628, which is very high compared to 493 from January to March.

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PopCom officials said they expect fewer teenage pregnancy cases because minors are not allowed to come out due to health measures caused by COVID-19.

Also, many have stopped working, so it is said that many parents should be expected to take care of their children.

“It is alarming kasi sa Zamboanga City pa lamang ang datos na ito. Sa ngayon, kinukuha pa lamang natin ang mga report mula sa ibang mga lalawigan at nga siyudad,” said Reynaldo Wong Regional Director ng PopCom.

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(It is alarming because this data is only in Zamboanga City. So far, we are only getting reports from other provinces and cities.)

(PopCom, on the other hand, plans to go from house to house to guide pregnant teens on the changes that will happen their lives.)

Also read: Senators to file resolutions for teenage pregnancy in Philippines

Teenage pregnancy increase during pandemic

Senator Sherwin  warned in June that  rate in the Philippines could spike amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“Matagal nang hamon sa ating pigilan ang pagdami ng kaso ng maagang pagbubuntis ngunit dahil sa COVID-19, nanganganib na mas dumami pa ang mga kabataang kababaihan na maging batang ina at huminto sa pag-aaral,” Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on basic education, said in a statement.

Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) reported in February that teenage pregnancy incidence among girls aged 10 to 14 is increasing. The agency recorded a 63% percent increase in the number of the said group age giving birth, comparing data from 2011 and 2018.

Gatchalian said teenagers could also be part of a possible “population surge” after the COVID-19 crisis.

The senator cited that 23.5% of teenage girls in Eastern Visayas got pregnant after Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Over 14% had another child the following year.

He also used the case in Sierra Leone, where there was a 65% spike in adolescent pregnancy during the Ebola outbreak.

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