CITY OF MALOLOS – The Provincial Government of Bulacan is strengthening its efforts in addressing and sustaining a youth friendly environment in the province.
Gov. Wilhelmino M. Sy-Alvarado said that Bulacan continues to implement the Adolescent and Youth Health Program’s (AYHP) three year plan from 2015 to 2018 to provide a youth friendly environment in the province and reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy among 10-19 years old.
With its vision, “Responsableng Kabataang Bulakenyo Katuwang Patungo sa Malusog, Asensado at Produktibong Pamumuhay”, the province has accomplished the draft for Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution supporting the AYHP and encouraging all cities, municipalities and barangays to create AYHP council and develop programs for the AY with funding support, conducted training of peer educators and organized Teen Friendly Clinic and Counseling Center in target schools among others.
Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Health Office-Public Health said that there should be Friendly Teen Centers/clinics, parent-teen area in hospitals/clinics and Friendly Teen Desk in PNP stations.
“We are already piloting a friendly teen center in Mariano Ponce Elementary School in Baliwag, Bulacan,” Gomez said.
According to Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Rowena Joson-Tiongson, a hotline called Teen Hotline (Kabataan Usap Tayo Hotline) is still active and has been receiving calls from AYs asking for assistance through hotline numbers (044) 791-3110 and 0922-573-4998.
Moreover, Provincial Public Affairs Office Head Maricel Santos-Cruz is also inviting everyone to tune in to Radyo Bulacan 103.9 FM every Friday, 9:30 to 10:30 am for talks about health.
The province recorded 6,137 teenage pregnancy cases in 2016 wherein the City of Meycauayan recorded the highest number with 704, followed by the City of San Jose del Monte with 669, Santa Maria with 536 and Guiguinto with 431. There were 29 maternal deaths where 26 of them aged 21-43 years old and three 18-19 years old. In 2016, 119 juvenile crimes aged 10-19 years old were also recorded.
Children under 18 years old composed of adolescents and youth comprises 30% of Bulacan’s population.