United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) country representative Iori Kato explains the importance of intergeneration roles in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Photo courtesy of Romar Miranda.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is alarmed by the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in Palawan.

UNFPA country representative Iori Kato on Monday, while in the city for the 2019 National Young Leaders Conference, said he was surprised to learn about the reports on teenage pregnancy but pointed out that such a problem is “not unique” to the Philippines.

“It is my first time to hear such information [about Puerto Princesa City and Palawan] which really highlights the importance of furthering the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG),” Kato said.

Kato said that the problem is not unique to the province as it also resembles reports from other Southeast Asian countries. He pointed out that UNPF is always open in collaborating with the local government and non-government organizations (NGO) in addressing such problems.

National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) economic development specialist Girlie Casimiro-Igtiben affirmed Kato’s statement citing that partnerships with UNFPA were made to help curb the increasing trend of teenage pregnancy observed locally and nationally.

She acknowledged that such problems arise from poverty and lack of services and support, a common observation throughout the developing countries.

“Most of the teens that got pregnant do not go back to school after giving birth because

“We are strengthening our reproductive health programs by following the UNHDP framework. The youth need to be informed and services should be available to them,” Igtiben said.

In the Department of Health (DOH) 2018 report published earlier this year, Palawan ranked the highest out of the five provinces in MIMAROPA when it comes to teenage pregnancy. [READ RELATED STORIES HERE: https://palawan-news.com/tag/teen-pregnancy/]

UNFPA is the lead UN agency in the improvement of reproductive health including the creation of national strategies and protocols, and by providing supplies and services on birth control.


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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.