Davao Region now has 118 school-based teen centers in both public and private secondary schools to provide services to at-risk students.
This is aligned with the resolution issued by the Regional Development Council (RDC) 11 last year recommending the establishment of a functional local teen center for adolescent health and development in all secondary schools.
The establishment of school-based teen centers is a response to the increasing teenage pregnancy in the country. Davao Region has the highest incidence of 17.9 percent based on the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey results, which is double the national average of 8.6 percent.
Each teen center has an assigned guidance counselor and peer educator who underwent training on adolescent sexuality and reproductive health.
“These peer educators were trained by PopCom (Population Commission) on how to handle their peers because teenagers usually don’t confide with the elders so we trained them on who will man the teen centers,” PopCom XI regional director Bai Agnes Sampulna said on Monday.
Aside from addressing the problems on overpopulation, Sampulna said this initiative will also help avoid maternal deaths among adolescents. She said individuals who give birth at a young age have a higher risk due to their fragile system, which may result to complication during and following pregnancy and childbirth.
Furthermore, the teen centers may also address problems on illiteracy, unemployment, and poverty.