BAGUIO CITY – The Regional Social Development Committee (RSDC) of the Cordillera Regional Development Council joins the National Social Development Committee in declaring teenage pregnancy as a national social emergency. The OIC-Assistant Regional Director Cecile Basawil of Cordillera Commission on Population and Development shared the National and Regional Social Development Committee Resolution No. 1 Series of 2019 “Supporting the Declaration of Adolescent Pregnancy as a National Social Emergency Requiring Inter-Agency Action” during the RSDC 1st Quarter meeting on February 11. The resolution calls for the identification of specific programs and activities directed at curbing adolescent pregnancy utilizing their respective Gender and Development (GAD) Budgets.

According to Basawil, about 187,871 adolescent mothers, including girls as young as 10 years old, gave birth in 2018. Girls as young as 10 years of age are reported to have given birth. In Cordillera, 3,402 adolescent girls were reported to have given birth, of which 12 is the youngest reported age.

The updated Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 lists adolescent pregnancy and the unmet need for family planning as the most significant social development challenges in the region. The recommended strategies in the Plan include increasing access to adolescent health and development education and access to services in reproductive health and family planning. The Plan also pursues the “Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Act” currently filed in the 18th Congress as Senate Bill No. 161.

RSDC Chair and DSWD-CAR Regional Director Leo Quintilla urged the RSDC member agencies to update their respective GAD budgets in time for the budget review by the Regional Development Budget Coordinating Committee and eventual endorsement of the Regional Development Council. All government agencies are mandated to allocate 5% of their budgets to Gender and Development programs and projects.