By Shiela Mae Butlig
Teenage pregnancy in Misamis Oriental has doubled its number by 2017 compared to 2016, the Provincial’s Population Office accomplishment report reads.
Andrew Gapuz, department head of the capitol’s PPO, showed that in 2016 they recorded over 785 teenage pregnancy cases in the entire province. This figure doubled by 2017, according to their teenage pregnancy census and official record –– it reached 1,642 cases.
To address this, the PPO is endorsing the modern family planning. They have based this on the Executive Order 12 of President Rodrigo Duterte to attain and sustain “unmet need for modern family planning through implementing the responsible parenthood and reproductive health act.”
Gapuz explained that this unmet need for modern family planning are those couples who are sexually active, who want to have a birth spacing but have no access to modern family planning.
He then admitted that they find it hard to convince couples in the municipalities to use modern family planning because most of the towns have strong Roman Catholic influence.
“Dili tanan municipalities suportado mi kay grabe ang religious influence,” Gapuz said.
Gapuz pointed out that of the 23 towns in the province, only two have pledge and supported their campaign for modern family planning, these are the towns of Jasaan and Villanueva.
The town with the most number of teeange pregnancy is Balingasag with 280, followed by Opol with 227, and Claveria with 171 cases.
Gapuz said the town with the least number of teenage pregnancy is Talisayan with only six and Binuangan with only 11 cases.
So far the youngest pregnancy that they recorded is a 10-years-old girl from the far flung areas of Magsaysay town.
“Iyang case ato (referring to the 10-year-old) is gi-buya sila (arranged marriage),” Gapuz explained.
As of March this year, the PPO listed only 76 individuals who expressed interest in modern family planning in the entire province.
Gapuz said the political will of the local chief executives of the towns is needed in their campaign.
“Naa nalang sa tip sa finger ang (pagpakig) sex kay through cellphones diha magsugod ang tanan,” he said.
They are also looking forward to working with the newly-elected Sangguniang Kabataan officials in the province to help them campaign to curb teenage pregnancy.
This year’s teenage pregnancy survey will be submitted by the end of this year.