CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The teenage pregnancy rate in Northern Mindanao or Region 10 has decreased to 10.9  percent but it is the highest among all regions in the country, the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2022 said. The survey result which was reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Region 10 during the Northern Mindanao Regional Data Dissemination Forum on Friday, July 14, showed that teenage pregnancy incidence in the region dropped by 3.8 percent from 14.7 percent compared to the NDHS 2017.  The lowest was recorded in 1993 and 1998 at 8.2 percent. ![PSA 10 DIRECTOR.jpg](
###### JANITH Aves, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Region 10 director, delivers her opening message during the Northern Mindanao Regional Data Dissemination Forum on Friday, July 14. (Franck Dick Rosete) ###### "Teenage pregnancy ranges from two percent, which was recorded in Region 1 and Region 5, to 11 percent, which was recorded in Region 10," said Sarah Balagbis, chief statistical specialist of the PSA-10 Statistical Operations and Coordination Division during her presentation on Fertility and Family Planning. Seven percent of 15- to 19-year-old teenagers in the region had a live birth, four percent were pregnant at the time of the survey, and less than one percent had a pregnancy loss. Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-Region 10, said that the problem of teenage pregnancy should be addressed. Despite the decrease, she said, the rate remains high. "When our young children engage in sexual activities at a young age and get pregnant, it’s possible that they will have another baby, and it will slow their development," Cariño said. The Northern Bukidnon State College, Cariño said, is currently conducting a study to identify the factors behind the high incidence of teenage pregnancy in the region. She said the study seeks to provide more responsive strategies and will be finished within this year. The NDHS only covers women aged 15 to 49 since the PSA follows the same format provided by their international partners. But Cariño said that there are also girls below 15-years-old who got pregnant. It was reported during the forum that 67 percent of sexually active and unmarried women aged 15- to 49-years-old do not use any method of family planning which could possibly contribute to the teenage pregnancy incidence in the region. The NDHS 2022 was conducted in Northern Mindanao from May 2, 2022, to June 22, 2022. Two thousand, one-hundred eighty-two households were surveyed by 26 PSA-10 personnel. The survey result will help the government monitor and evaluate population, health, and nutrition programs. ![CPD 10 DIRECTOR.jpg](
###### NEIL Aldrin Omega, director of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD)-Region 10, discusses family planning and teenage pregnancy during the Northern Mindanao Regional Data Dissemination Forum on Friday, July 14. (Franck Dick Rosete) ###### Neil Aldrin Omega, director of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD)-Region 10, said the region having the highest incidence of teenage pregnancy is something that "we are not proud of." However, he noted that the figure has been reduced. "I’d like to note that we are actually successful in reducing it from 14.7 percent in 2017 to 10.9 percent in 2022. Perhaps our efforts are not enough," Omega said in his discussion and stressed the need to do more in order to resolve the problem. The CPD-10 is preparing the Philippine Population Development Plan of Action for implementation, which contains strategies to further combat the high percentage rate of teenage pregnancy. It has been approved by the National Population Commission and it is expected to be implemented within this year. The Philippine Population Development Plan of Action 2023-2028 was crafted taking into consideration the results reported in the NDHS. Among the strategies are the intensification of comprehensive sexuality education, providing access to family planning, maternal and child health implications, and socioeconomic interventions. Socorro Gultiano, research associate of the Capitol University Research and Extension Office, said in her presentation that despite the decrease in teenage pregnancy in Region 10, the number remains "worrisome." "These teenagers have compromised their own health, that of their babies, and their future as well," Gultiano said. The PSA-10 has yet to provide the breakdown of teenage pregnancy incidence per province and this city. The NDHS 2022 is the seventh demographic and health survey (DHS) conducted in the Philippines. It was implemented by the PSA with technical assistance provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through ICF under the DHS program.

Source: Manila Bulletin (