BAGUIO CITY — The members of the Baguio City council is seeking to pass an ordinance aimed at preventing teenage pregnancies and institutionalize social protection for teenage parents.
In a statement, the council stressed that the proposed ordinance aims to bolster and augment existing programs of the city in order to curb the escalating number of teenage pregnancy cases more effectively.
According to the Commission on Population Cordillera, 2,422 babies born in 2020 across Baguio and the rest of the region have teenage parents, recording an increase in teenage pregnancies by 46.43 percent from last year’s number of cases.
With the sudden surge of teenage pregnancies, Baguio City councilors Mylen Victoria Yaranon and Levy Lloyd Orcales proposed that certain government agencies and local government units should be involved to intensify the city’s campaign.
Under the ordinance, the City Health Services Office (CHSO) shall be tasked to collaborate with the City Youth Development Office, Local Youth Development Council, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and other concerned line agencies and institutions for the crafting of educational materials that promote age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) in schools and in the community.
Reflective of the realities of the contemporary individuals’ sexual behavior, the CSE materials will be complementary to the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Law and will be a compulsory component of education to be integrated in all levels of learning as it aims to normalize discussion of sex and gender, adolescent sexuality and reproductive health.
To realize the integration of CSE into the curriculum, trainings for teachers, guidance counselors, school supervisors, and school nurses on CSE shall be facilitated by the CHSO in partnership with different agencies and institutions.
Meantime, a CSE program for out-of-school adolescents and for those with special concerns shall also be initiated under this ordinance.
Once enacted, the proposed measure will mandate the establishment of functional local teen centers for adolescent health and development that will provide access to appropriate information relevant to CSE; promotion of CSE on social media and other digital platforms; and access to reproductive health services.
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