A mother comforts her daughter, who is recuperating from dengue fever, in a hospital in Manila on Friday. Reuters
Manolo B. Jara, Staff Reporter
The Philippines is in the grip of a "national social emergency" arising from the unabated and alarming increase in the cases of too many Filipino teenage girls becoming mothers too soon, a senior cabinet official warned.
Ernesto Pernia, the socioeconomic planning secretary, raised the warning in a speech before the first ever summit to grapple with the emerging major problem of teenage pregnancies in suburban Pasay City in Metro Manila.
"The risk of not tackling the crisis ahead is clear — a large cross-section of families would be condemned to perpetual 'intergenerational poverty'," Pernia pointed out even as he revealed he would ask President Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte to issue an executive order acknowledging unabated teenage pregnancy as a "national social emergency." He also called on lawmakers to immediately enact laws aimed at helping reduce the problem before it gets out of hand.
Examples abound, Pernia said, citing findings of the National Demographic Health Survey in 2017, which showed that nine per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 19, have begun childbearing.
Such figure tended to increase even further when one zeroes in on the most vulnerable or impoverished population, with findings that 10 per cent of the country's teenager start to get pregnant, Pernia said.
He added that 10 per cent of teenagers in the rural areas have started childbearing, with the figure rising higher in some regions all located in Mindanao like Davao,18 per cent, as well as Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen, both 15 per cent.
In a related development, Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the immediate approval of her bill called the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Act of 2918 aimed at helping solve the problem.
Hontiveros explained her bill was in reaction to Pernia's call for Congress to enact a law mandating the government to launch a comprehensive, age-appropriate programme to better inform the teenagers and their parents over issues involving say, sex and reproductive health.
The bill, Hontiveros said, also mandates more social protection programmes for teenage mothers like accessible maternal health services, workshops and livelihood projects especially those who were victims of sexual abuse or violence.
"If we fail to act and do not guide the youths towards safe and healthy lifestyles, we would not just condemn the young Filipinos to lives of poverty and suffering. We will also be hurting our country's chances for progress and development," Hontiveros said.
She asked: "How can we say the youth is the hope of the Motherland if they themselves carry a heavy burden?"
The mother was left in tears following the incident at her son’s wedding on March 31. After seeing a birthmark on the hand of the bride, the mother was shocked and recalled her daughter having a similar one.
A Filipino IT professional took a 9-hour-long flight from Dubai to Philippines to surprise his parents whom he hasn't seen for the last five years.
The brutal 600km MacArthur competition in the Philippines pits competitors against searing heat, wild seas, vicious predators and even kidnapping.
Philippines’ annual inflation eased more than expected in June as food and fuel costs increased at a slower pace, the statistics agency said on Friday, supporting views that the central bank would cut rates at its policy meeting in August.
A woman filed a lawsuit against a women’s salon in which she requested the court to obligate the salon to pay her Dhs100,000 in compensation for the burns she sustained by mistake when her nails were trimmed and decorated with acrylic. She said this substance was left on her fingers for a long period and consequently caused finger burns of second and third degrees.
The Water Department of the Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority completed the installation of a strategic water line extending for 56km from Hamda area to Al Badea area with a diameter of 800mm at a total cost of Dhs96 million, excluding the value of materials. The project aims at enhancing the diversity of water sources in the city of Sharjah and guaranteeing the continuity of service.
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, approved the start of the first phase of land levelling for the residential areas in Al Shannouf 1-6, totalling 3,000 plots of land at 50 plots in each area.
Khalid said, “Members of the Australian Defence Force entertaining #Afghan Refugee kids in a camp at UAE. These children & their families have been evacuated from #Afghanistan by the Australian Government. @ausgov @AustralianArmy @DeptDefence…”