FPOP strives to break the cycle of teenage pregnancy

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BAGUIO CITY (PIA) — The Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) in Baguio City and Benguet persistently strives to break the cycle of teenage pregnancy plaguing both the city and the province.
Based on the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey, teenage pregnancy or the percentage of women aged 15 to 19 who have ever been pregnant in the Cordillera region was at 6.1 percent in 2022, an increase of 2.6 percent from 3.5 percent in 2017.
Insufficient information and education are the primary contributors to the rising incidence of teenage pregnancy in the region.
The FPOP Baguio-Benguet is actively combating teenage pregnancy through the provision of sexuality education for teenagers. This effort aims to create more opportunities and ensure a brighter future for generations.
The organization, particularly through its youth sector, has been at the forefront of advocating for the integration of comprehensive sexuality education in schools. It conducts Teen Talks on sexuality education, and train young members to facilitate peer-to-peer education. It also develops localized and age-appropriate modules for sexuality education.
“Regardless of what we see on social media, what we experience or what other people tell us, if we are empowered with the right education, we believe that we will be having a wise decision making for ourselves,” FPOP Deputy Youth Representative Arjay Empizo said.
Even with this initiative, the organization still faces challenges in the smooth delivery of this education given the ever-growing culture of religiosity with severe influences from conservatism among the people in the region.
“Hinahampas tayo ng criticism na we have lived our life without those and bakit kailangan pa ng mga kabataan ng ganyan? There is this notion na mas makakasama sa mga kabataan, mas magiging mapusok sila, o mas nabibigyan ng insight ang mga kabataan na mas i-explore pa nila, which is in fact we are giving them these information para sana mas maiwasan nila ‘yung mga risk na pwede nila makuha,” Empizo said.
The FPOP Baguio-Benguet also acknowledged the vital role of families in providing fundamental sexuality education to children, and encouraged them to collaborate in breaking the cycle of teenage pregnancy.
“Sana maging katuwang natin ang mga magulang sa pagtuturo ng basic sexuality education sa kanilang mga anak para bago pa lumabas ang mga bata sa bahay, naturuan na sail ng tamang konsepto such as protecting their genitals and pagpapahalaga sa kanilang sarili,” Empizo said.
Teenage pregnancy is considered a health and social issue worldwide because of its impacts on teenage moms such as preeclampsia, anemia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even death, according to the World Health Organization.
The FPOP is the oldest and biggest volunteer organization in the Philippines and an associate member of the International Planned Parenthood Association that aims to render services like sexual-reproductive health to people especially to the poor and the underserved. **JDP/DEG-PIA CAR with Marvilyn Lokines, BSU Intern


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