PHILIPPINES: Teen Pregnancies Are On The Rise

PHILIPPINES (South East Asia)                                 

Population: 92.34 million (as of May 2010)

34% of the population is younger than 15 years of age.

13% of the population are in Metro Manila.

As of 2010, there are approximately 6.4 million senior citizens.

Fertility Rate:  6.3 children/woman (1970s) vs. 3.1 children/woman (2010)

Life Expectancy:  61 years (1970s) vs. 68 years (2010)

Infant mortality:  18.75 deaths / 1000 live births

Male/Female Ratio:  1.05 male  / female

Major Religion:  Catholicism, Islam

– A UNFPA 2011 annual report indicated that the number of teenage pregnancies in the Philippines has risen by 70% from 114,205 in 1999 to 195,662 in 2009.  This is one of the highest rates in the ASEAN region.  There are 53 births per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 19.  In 2010, 26.7% of women who gave birth to their first baby were aged 15-19 years old.  

– The Philippines is one of a few countries in the world where abortion is a criminal act, with no legal exception.  Since 1930, abortion has been a crime under Philippine law.  The 1987 Philippine Constitution further underlines this when it stated that the State “shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.”

– The Philippines has the highest percentage of smokers in Southeast Asia and it is among the countries with the highest smoking population, with at least 17.3 million smokers.  The number of teenage smokers is rising.  Boys between 13 and 15 years old comprise 28.3% of smokers in the country today, while girls in the same age group make up 17.5%.   87,000 die of tobacco-related diseases annually.

– In Southeast Asia, Filipinos were found to be the second highest consumers of alcohol, second only to the Indonesians.  Based on the latest available data, however, Filipinos are seen as the No. 1 wine drinkers in the whole of the Asian region.  The prevalent rate of alcohol consumption is estimated at 5 million Filipino drinkers.

– The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) was 2.2 million in 2011, which is about 2 % of the total population.   The largest number of OFWs generally comes from the 25-29 age group, representing about 25 % of all OFWs.  79 out of a 100 of our OFWS work in Asia; 9 work in Europe, 8 in North and South America, 2 in Australia and 2 inAfrica. The three biggest work destination countries of our OFWs are Saudi Arabia (21 out of 100),United Arab Emirates(15 out of 100), and Malaysia(10 out of 100).

– The Philippines has the worst unemployment rate in Southeast Asia and more than double the regional average.  The country’s unemployment rate of 7% in 2011 was more than double the regional average of 3.2%.

– While the global trend is decreasing, the number of HIV cases is rising in the Philippines.  Nine new cases of HIV infections are reported daily in the country and 52% of which are in Metro Manila.  The 20 to 29 year-old age group has had the most number of cases.  

– As of June 2012, the Philippine HIV and AIDS Registry had recorded 295 new cases of HIV, including 16 AIDS cases. This brought to 1,600 the number of cases this year, which already surpassed the number in 2010.  Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) comprised 20% of the 10,155 cases of HIV/AIDS recorded in the country from 1984 to August this year. 

– The Philippines has the highest abuse rate for methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, in East Asia.  2.1% of Filipinos aged 16 to 64 are using the illegal drug, particularly shabu and marijuana.  Among those who filed for annulment, 61% were women with only 39% men.

– Annulment of marriages in the Philippines rose by more than 40% over the past 10 years –  from 4,520 cases in 2001 to 8,282 in 2010.  On the average, at least 22 cases are being filed every day.  

– The Philippines is the only remaining country outside the Vatican that does not have a divorce law.  However, there have been several attempts to pass a divorce bill in Congress, but these have been unsuccessful so far.    

– There are 5.5 million working children (5 to 17 years old) as of October 2011.  Of this number, 2.9 million are reported to be exposed to hazardous child labor.  The child-labor problem was biggest  in provinces of Central Luzon, Bicol, Western Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas.

– 26.5% or 23.1 million Filipinos are poor.  They earn less than P1,400 a month or P46/day.

– There were 50,000 registered hospitality girls in the tourist entertainment in the early 70′s.  In 1998, it was estimated that there were at least 400,000 to 500,000 prostituted persons in the Philippineswith 75,000 of these being children.  In her “Anti-Prostitution Act” (Senate Bill No. 2341) Senator Pia S. Cayetano cites the number of women being exploited in prostitution in the Philippines now ballooning to 800,000.

– While some supporters of the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Bill say that it is needed to reduce maternal mortality, studies show that the Philippines has experienced success in dropping its maternal mortality rates without an RH law.  The National Statistical Coordination Board in the Philippines reported that from 1990-2010, the daily maternal mortality rate dropped 21%.  The World Health Organization also found that the Filipino maternal mortality rate dropped 48 percent from 1990 to 2008.

– According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, anywhere from 60,000 to 600,000 street children are victims of child prostitution.  

– Current use of contraception among married women was 36 percent in 1988, and up to 51% in 2008.  More married women use modern contraceptive methods than traditional methods (34 percent and 17 percent, respectively). The pill is the most commonly used method (16 percent), followed by female sterilization (9 percent).

Sources: p



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