Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate the real meaning of love – that of sacrifice, consistency, and dedication. Modern society’s views on sex as a form of physical intimacy might be widespread, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take steps to prepare and prioritize your future! That one night full of passion and love might be what leads to resentment, despair, and hopelessness. 

Photo from Country Living Magazine

The Commission on Population and Development (PopCom Region 6) expresses the importance of love beyond physicality on Valentine’s Day. Roilo Vincent Laguna, Population Program Officer and Technical Section Head of PopCom Region 6 wishes to remind everyone of the importance of not engaging in sexual activities just for the heck of it. He stresses the importance of contraceptives when engaging in these things, as sexually transmitted diseases and the possibility of unwanted offspring is a concern that isn’t to be trifled with.

Photo from ABC

He mentioned the availability of contraceptives at local pharmacies and Rural Health Units (RHUs) as an important tool to prevent unwanted pregnancies and diseases from occurring.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) from 2022 backs this up, as there were 166 reported cases of unwanted pregnancies in females aged 10 to 14, revealing a concerning trend that’s been slowly rising throughout the region. These cases are divided into the following urbanized cities and provinces:

  • Aklan – 13
  • Antique – 9
  • Capiz – 28
  • Guimaras – 4
  • Iloilo – 46
  • Negros Occidental – 52
  • Bacolod City – 3
  • Iloilo City – 11

These 166 cases accounted for around 0.18% of the total number of live births during the year, which was 89,901. For girls aged 15 to 19, 8,621 pregnancies were reported:

  • Aklan – 681
  • Antique – 546
  • Capiz – 945
  • Guimaras – 228
  • Iloilo – 2,344
  • Negros Occidental – 3,253
  • Bacolod City – 253
  • Iloilo City – 371

What’s more alarming is that the youngest reported case of teenage pregnancy is that of an 11-year-old girl in 2020, who was said to be a victim of sexual abuse, further highlighting the critical nature of this societal issue.

Photo from Birthright

PopCom 6’s message for couples during Valentine’s Day is to be responsible and care for yourself, your partner, your family, and those around you. 

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