At 16, Garneth Sebial was like any other teenager. Her life was all about attending school, finishing homework and spending time with friends. She had also started exploring her sexuality.
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First, the dismaying facts. The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia where teenage pregnancy is on the rise. Of the 10 million Filipino girls aged years old, some 10 per cent about a million are already mothers or pregnant with their first child. Speaking of adolescents in general, one in three has already had sex by age 19, with a troubling 70 per cent of these encounters taking place without protection.
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This summit, which saw the active participation of adolescent youth, delivered a clear message: Adolescent sexual and reproductive health ASRHor the lack thereof, is fast becoming the defining issue of this generation of young Filipinos. Without a robust response from all stakeholders, the Philippines is on track toward a full-blown, national teenage pregnancy crisis. Staggering facts support this call for concern.
In order to achieve a change among teens' sexual behavior, an important step is to improve our knowledge about their opinions concerning relationships, love and sexuality. A questionnaire including topics on relationships, love and sexuality was distributed to a target population of 4, Filipino students from third year high school to third year college. Participants were obtained through multi-stage sampling of clusters of universities and schools.
While teen pregnancy rates in most countries are declining, numbers are rising in the Philippines. But he said he would take responsibility and that he loved me," she says. Her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, but Angela is now a mother of four. Her youngest child is just a week old.