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Adolescent Pregnancy in the Philippines

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International Handbook of Adolescent Pregnancy

Abstract

An archipelago of about 7,000 islands, the Philippines is located in southeast Asia—north of Malaysia, south of Taiwan, east of Vietnam, and far west of Hawaii, USA. The Philippines has a young population with an estimated median age of 22.9 years in 2010. About 19.8 million or (21 % of the total population of 95.8 million Filipinos) are 15–24 years old. About 48 % of these young people are adolescents aged 15–19.

Studies in the local setting provide varied information on the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in the Philippines, depending on source and time of survey as well as age of respondents. In 1982, the first Youth and Adult Fertility Survey (YAFS1) revealed that 87.2 % of sexually active young females became pregnant. The succeeding YAFS 3 survey in 2002 further reported that one-third of women aged 15–24 had already given birth to their first child before reaching their twenty-first birthday.

The Philippines is signatory to numerous international agreements related to women in general, with some implications for teenage pregnancy. These include the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action signed in Cairo, Egypt, in 1994; the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, developed during the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in September 1995; the Fourth World Summit on Social Development (WSSD), the World Conference on Human Rights Programme of Action; and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against women (CEDAW).

The country is not lacking in laws nor policies and programs that could protect and empower women of all ages. Political bickering, religious interference, and the population’s ambivalent attitudes toward sex and reproductive health have, however, negatively affected the effective implementation of adolescent reproductive health programs in the Philippines.

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Serquina-Ramiro, L. (2014). Adolescent Pregnancy in the Philippines. In: Cherry, A., Dillon, M. (eds) International Handbook of Adolescent Pregnancy. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-8026-7_27

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