Sen. Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, acknowledged the urgent need to pass Senate Bill No. 1334, also known as the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Act.
Hontiveros expressed alarm on Monday, February 22, after data from the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) reported a seven percent increase in the number of pregnant girls with ages 15 years old and below.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority also show that two girls as young as 10 years old gave birth in 2019 at the National Capital Region, and CALABARZON.
The senator said that teen mothers need livelihood programs, maternal health services, and workshops to cope with their situation.
“Dapat din silang makatanggap ng medical, legal, at iba pang services kung silang mga batang ina ay biktima ng sexual abuse or violence,” Hontiveros said during DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan.
Hontiveros explained that the measure provides a ‘comprehensive, age-appropriate, sex education program’ for all Filipino youths.
The proposed legislation also increases the funding of the Department of Health (DOH) for education programs in poor and far-flung communities in the country.
A Social Weather Stations survey, conducted from November 15 to November 20, show that 59 percent of adult Filipinos consider teenage pregnancy as the most important problem of women.
Hontiveros promised that her committee will conduct hearings on the issue regarding teenage pregnancy.