SENATORS Win Gatchalian and Sonny Angara will seek a Senate inquiry into how to strengthen the comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and curb teenage pregnancies.
This was after the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) called for the declaration of a national emergency on teenage pregnancy.
The lawmakers lament the fact that despite the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law in 2012, the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) reported that nine percent of 4.9 million teenage women aged 15-19 have begun childbearing. PopCom also reported that between 2011 and 2017, pregnancies in the 10-14 age group increased by 50 percent from around 1,000 to 2,000 cases, 30 to 50 of which are among 10-year olds.
“Despite the existence of CSE and the RH Law, teenage pregnancy rates in the country are still alarming. This prompts us to revisit and strengthen our existing policies so we can save teenagers from getting pregnant and falling into the trap of intergenerational poverty,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.
The two senators also pointed out a finding by PSA’s 2017 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, which revealed that “marriage or family matters” is the top reason why female out-of-school children and youth (OSCY) aged 6-24 are not attending school.
“Napagkakaitan ang mga kabataan ng maayos na kalusugan at magandang kinabukasan kung hindi natin sila magagabayan sa usapin ng RH. Kung may mabisang programa at sapat na kakayahan ang mga paaralan para magturo ng CSE, maiiwasan natin ang pagdami ng mga batang tumitigil sa pag-aaral dahil sa maagang pagbubuntis,” Gatchalian added.