MANILA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government expressed alarm over the rising number of Filipino teenagers getting pregnant.
Citing the National Statistics Office (NSO) data, Social Welfare Undersecretary Parisya Taradji said Thursday that the number of maternal deaths for teenage women ranged from 82 at the lowest in 2001 to as high as 164 in 2010.
"It is alarming that the number of teenage mothers is increasing, from 7.1 percent in 2000 to as high as 11.7 percent in 2010," she said.
She also cited a 2010 National Youth Assessment Study showing that 38 percent of 15-17 year-old, 44 percent of 18-24 year old, and 41 percent of those in the 25-30 age group think that early sexual encounter is acceptable in today's society. High incidence of early sexual encounter involves the 15-17 age group.
Taradji quoted the survey that said early sexual encounter could also lead to sexually transmitted disease/infections (STD/ STIs), emotional problems and early pregnancy.
She said that the study revealed that the youth themselves recognize teenage pregnancy as one of the main reasons for failing to finish school.
"Other realities of teen pregnancy faced by young mothers include reduced employment opportunities and social stigma," Taradji said.