MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said Monday it is also conducting Youth Development Sessions (YDS) to address the alarming increase of teenage pregnancies.
According to DSWD Secretary Corazon J. Soliman, aside from the Family Development Sessions (FDS) being conducted among Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) household beneficiaries every month, a separate session has been designed for teenage girls.
Soliman said that the YDS involves discussions on reproductive health and taking care of or valuing the teenager’s body.
“It is really a concern we are working with the Department of Health (DOH),” she explained.
The DSWD chief said that such session is conducted to address the rising incidence of teenage mothers or those who get pregnant at an early age.
She cited Barangay Payatas in Quezon City where there had been high incidence of teenage pregnancies wherein the youngest recorded mother was a 13-year-old girl.
She said that because of this, the YDS is also conducted in cooperation with the local government unit (LGUs).
Through the YDS, the DSWD wants to impart to the young women, particularly those in the high school bracket ages, the importance of learning to value themselves and even responsible parenting to avoid early and unplanned pregnancies.
It also aims to instill among girls in the secondary schools the benefits of engaging in wholesome and worthwhile activities, maintaining good grades in school and even fighting peer pressures that lead some to indulge into early sexual activities.
Through the YDS, teenage girls are given the insights about the danger of getting pregnant early, both on the life of the mother and the baby, as the body of a woman is not yet ready to bear a child at a very young age.
They are also being informed of the undesirable consequences like dropping-out from school and losing some opportunities to have a better future.
The teenagers are also advised to focus instead on their studies, listen to the advice of their parents and be strong to withstand peer pressures.
Under the Family Development Sessions (FDS), the mothers are also educated in terms of how they will maintain an open communication lines with their children, teaching them to focus on their studies and in valuing themselves as individuals with promising future.