DSWD and PopCom to create social protection program for teenage mothers

TEENAGE MOTHERS. APPLICANT/MARIANNE BERMUDEZ FILE

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Population and Development Commission (PopCom) have launched a social welfare program to help teenage mothers and their children.

The DSWD and PopCom, at a virtual event on Thursday, launched the Social Protection Program for Underage Teenage Mothers and Their Children, or SPPTMC.

The two agencies, through a partnership agreement, have committed to developing a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) to identify teenage mothers and their children nationwide to implement a social betterment program for young mothers from the lowest socio-economic bracket, among others.

Both agencies are ready to develop programs for teenage mothers and children who are covered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4Ps) program. The DSWD and PopCom are also ready to develop another DSA for non-beneficiaries of the 4Ps.

“We hope that through this partnership, we can mutually prevent teenage pregnancies and establish sufficient and accessible measures to protect the well-being of teenage mothers and their children,” Bautista said in a pre-recorded message during the SPPTMC virtual signing ceremony. Partnership Agreement.

For his part, PopCom Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III said the partnership agreement is timely given the growing number of teenage pregnancies in the country.

“The current state of teenage pregnancy in the country has reached a level of national social emergency, an urgent national priority,” he said during the virtual signing. “You could say it’s already escalated into a calamity or a disaster.”

Perez also pointed out that teenage pregnancy has far-reaching social and economic effects on a family with teenage parents.

“These events, which have repeated themselves thousands of times, can send a young mother’s future, and that of her child, into a downward spiral from which they will never be able to recover in their lifetime,” he said. he declares.

Perez said some 160,000 underage teenagers are expected to “be heads of households” in 2021.

The latest available data shows that there were approximately 171 live births born to minors every day in 2019. There were also 4,633 repeat pregnancies or second births in 2018, which is only a slight decrease to 5 297 in 2015, according to PSA.

The Philippines ranks fourth in terms of teenage birth rates among Southeast Asian countries, according to PopCom.

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/MUF

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Joel C. Hicks