Klaus Beck of UN Population Fund urged the Philippines to make more reforms to address reproductive health issues, particularly the rising teen pregnancy.
By age 19, 1 in 5 girls is – or will soon be – a mother (Source: NDHS 2013) as noted by Babaenihan Facebook. Babaenihan is a joint project of the Office of the Vice President and the UN Population Fund to raise awareness on the urgency to address teen pregnancy through investments in education, health and economic opportunities. Launched last year, the campaign has gained positive results but UNPF urges the government to make more reforms.
For the country to reap the benefits of a young population, it needs to effectively implement its reproductive health and basic education reform laws, according to Klaus Beck in an interview with Cathy Yang on ANC’s Market Edge.
Our Reproductive Health Law already allows free access to contraceptives to the poor and our basic education program was expanded to 12 years with the K-12 programs to be at par with international standards.
But the rising teen pregnancies in the country is still a cause of concern for the UNFPA Philippines. “Young girls who get pregnant, it’s more likely that they won’t finish high school and less likely to have a good income in life,” Beck said.
Beck blamed an apparent lack of information and services on reproductive health to the rising teenage pregnancy rate in the country.
According to the Population Commission and Philippine National Statistics, there has been a steady increase in the number of girls aged 18 years and below who get pregnant yearly. In 2014, they noted 128,430 teen pregnancies, as disclosed by ABS-CBN.