|Students pledge their commitment to support the campaign against teen pregnancy. Similar banners will be put up in the school premises to encourage other students to join the campaign. (PFernando/RTI)|
The gesture was the culmination of the Adolescent Forum organized by the Batangas Provincial Health Office and the Batangas City Health Office, in coordination with USAID’s LuzonHealth Project. The Forum, with the theme "Prevent Teenage Pregnancy, Show You Care, be Aware,” featured lectures, on-the-spot painting, and games to raise awareness on adolescent sexuality, reproductive health, and prevention and management of teen pregnancy. In a meeting held right after the event, the student leaders and faculty members, along with LuzonHealth agreed to create an adolescent-friendly space, i.e., a Teen Health Kiosk in BaNaHiS where students (numbering about 6,000) can discuss with their peers issues and concerns related to adolescent health, growing up, relationships, sexuality, and teen pregnancy prevention.
USAID has been providing technical assistance to Batangas City in training guidance counsellors and school clinicians on the adolescent job aid, conducting teachers training in population and development education, and organizing adolescent youth health caucus of parents.
Batangas City currently accounts for 17% of the total pregnancies (4,727) reported by 24 municipalities and three cities in the Province of Batangas (Southwestern part of Luzon).