February 9, 2023

The Cordillera Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) endorsed to the Regional Development Council-Cordillera the request of the Commission on Population and Development for regional line agencies, civil society organizations, and local government units to support Executive Order 141 s. 2021.
EO 141, issued by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 25, “adopts as a national priority the implementation of measures to address the root causes of the rising number of teenage pregnancies, and mobilizing government agencies for the purpose.”
Popcom-Cordillera Asst. Director Cecile Basawil said data showed an increase in teenage pregnancies in the region from 1,654 births to teenage mothers in 2019 to 2,424 in 2020.
Popcom considers this as alarming since the region already made significant strides to be delisted from the number one spot in the number of teenage pregnancies in the country in 2013.
Aside from health problems, teenage pregnancy also needs to be addressed due to its socio-economic impact.
According to the study by the United Nations Population Fund-Philippines in 2016, adolescents lose an aggregate lifetime earnings of about P33 billion due to early childbearing.
The prevention of teenage pregnancies is identified as a legislative agenda in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 to maximize the country’s demographic dividend.
Basawil added under EO 141, the State acknowledges the root of the rising number of adolescent pregnancies stems from engendered patterns of discrimination, deep-seated norms and attitudes that normalize and justify violence against women and children, lack of information and education, and the vulnerability and exclusion of women and children living in remote and rural areas.
Girls from a dysfunctional family and those who need to spend more time at home as a result of the pandemic and are also more exposed to abuse.
The State recognizes the importance of coordinating, rationalizing, monitoring, and assessing the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole of government approach in addressing teenage pregnancy.
The RSDC also supported RDC-Region 2 Resolution 2-22 s. 2021, “Enjoining the Department of Health to enforce and monitor the establishment of senior citizens’ ward in every government hospital as mandated by Republic Act 9994 or The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.”
Victor Caccam of the National Economic Development Authority-Cordillera presented the request of RDC-Region 2 during its meeting recently.
The RDC-Region 2 resolution is anchored on the projection that by 2030 to 2035, the Philippines is expected to have an aging society with the senior citizen population reaching 14 percent of the total population.
The country is said to be at the onset of having an aging population with senior citizen population at 8.2 percent.
The DOH-Cordillera reported there are no geriatric wards in government hospitals in the Cordillera and this is partly due to the lack of geriatric specialists in the region.
Further studies will be conducted to help in the effort to establish senior citizens’ ward in government hospitals in the region.
The Cordillera RSDC is chaired by Department of Social Welfare and Development-Cordillera Director Arnel B. Garcia with the NEDA-Cordillera as secretariat. – Press release