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High School Students Pledge Commitment to Help Reduce Teen Pregnancy

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 rising incidence of teenage pregnancy has become alarming as evidenced by the total share of live births to adolescent mothers in the country increasing from 7% in 2000 to 12% in 2010 (YAFS 2013).  In response, at least 1,500 high school students from the Batangas National High School (BaNaHis) in Batangas City affixed their handprints on the commitment wall to express their commitment to help curb the increasing incidence of teenage pregnancy. 

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).