Urgent action on adolescent pregnancy needed- PLCPD

; Backed up by KTOP- COVID Webinar of DOST NRCP on Mitigating Teenage Pregnancy

Seven young adolescent girls aged 10-14 years old gave birth per day in 2019.The Philippine Statistics Authority has announced that births among young adolescent girls below 15 years old went up by 7% compared to 2018. While the total number of Filipino children who became mothers in 2019 increased slightly to 62,510 from 62,341 in 2018.

An Estimated two million Filipino women, age 15 to 49 years pls are expected to get pregnant this year due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns;10% of these pregnancies will be among girls below 20 ( Marquez 2020).

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) has also warned that this is the ninth year since 2011 that this figure has continued to rise.This alarming rate would be unchanged and could even increase during the pandemic.

According to the University of the Philippines Population Institute and UNFPA, teenage pregnancy in the country may increase by an additional 18,000 as a result of barriers to services because of COVID-19 restrictions.

In addition, the unmet need for family planning can increase to 2.07 million by the end of 2020, having a 67% increase compared to 2019.Senator Ana Theresa “Risa” N. Hontiveros, author of Senate Bill 1334 or the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Bill, calls for an immediate action on the issue. 

“If the increase of the teenage pregnancies cases will not be resolved, it will add more burden to our healthcare system, our economy and in the long-run, our plans for the next generation,“ Hontiveros stressed in a separate statement.

With the enactment of SB 1334, young people, especially women, will have greater access to services and programs to educate and motivate them to pursue safe, progressive and healthy lifestyles.

 “Let our children be children and to allow them to grow and fulfill their full potential,” she said. “Teenage pregnancy takes away the future of our young girls and restricts them to reach their full potential and make decisions that affect their own lives.

 Moreover, challenges like this are made more stark in times of crisis like the present pandemic. We owe it to our young girls to give them a better future, to give them a life with dignity where their choices are respected,” explained by Rep. Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba, author of House Bill 6528, the counterpart bill at the House of Representatives.

“PLCPD calls on both houses of Congress for urgent action on this issue by deliberating and voting on the bill. We cannot leave young people in the dark. We have to ensure that they have both the correct information and appropriate services on reproductive health.

In addition, we also call for the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law, particularly the comprehensive sexuality education, to guide our young people to make informed decisions,” added Rom Dongeto, PLCPD executive director.

Currently, there are seven bills awaiting committee action at the House of Representatives while the bill in the Senate is already under the Period of Interpellation.

The salient features of the different bills include:Development of an age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education responding to the information needed about sexuality, relationships, human rights and gender equality.

Accessibility to a full range of family planning services, including modern contraception Promotion and establishment of adolescent friendly health facilities Inclusion of adolescent mothers and fathers in social protection schemes.Acosta-Alba and Hontiveros, PLCPD co-chairpersons, chair the respective Committees on Women and Gender Equality in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

PLCPD is an advocacy group pushing for laws on reproductive health, women’s rights, and children’s rights, among others and in relation to this yesterday February 10, 2021 the Department of Science and Technology- National Research Council of the Philippines DOST NRCP, Social Sciences Division conducted KTOP- COVID (Kapakanan ng Tao sa Oras ng Pandemya- COVID) a webinar series: The Stories of Filipino Pregnant Teenagers and Teenage Mothers during the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis.

With Dr Gregorio E. H. Del Pilar as chair of Social Sciences Division  of DOST NCRP with Executive Director DOST NRCP Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, Dr Diana L. Ignacio, Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Management Services and Special concern, OIC for GAD and Regional Support Services and DOST wide GAD focal person and Science Chief Fortunato de la Peña.

Who give the message that even with the pandemics in the ordinary village in Tandang Sora Quezon City teenage pregnancy is not a new challenges. 
The speaker Dr Gloria M. Nelson,  Professor of Sociology, College of Public Affairs and Development – UP Los Banos, NRCP Regular Member of Social Science with Juni B. Gonzalez on her recommendations that the enactment of the teenage pregnancy act and culturally appropriate implementing rules and regulations would mitigate teenage pregnancy. 

Less Teenage pregnancy mean less gender education gaps and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. An age- appropriate comprehensive sex education is not just a privilege but a right for youth to know from the right sources on reproductive health. 

Sex education is not only the use of contraceptives, but include rational planning when you want to have kids, how many and how many years of interval between children.

Learning to say NO for sexual advancement. On the study the part of the question to the participants are what is like to be a mother. The response mostly positive like Being a mother means a source of joy, excitement and inspiration.

No one on the participants had attempted to abort or commit suicide. 
With the follow up question to the participant what are the children to them. Most of their perspective that children means blessings” I have an angel”. 

The modalities uses on its three categories are the following :
The first theme represents teens who face the burden of being solo parent at very young age and may be more likely to be stigmatized, dependency on their parent is indefinite. 

The second theme are in consensual Union, enjoys the support of their partners and relative for now. The burden is low income and unstable income ( informal sectors) with some had experience hunger. 

The third theme describes what is like in a stable relationship. The burden is lack of sufficient education. Being home may subject young girls to domestic violence abuses that can lead to an increase in teenage pregnancy by as much as 65% as they spent more time with boys and men as compared when they are in school.

MJ Olvina- Balaguer of DZMJ Online, Makabuluhang Jornalismo your hapiness channel +639053611058, maryjaneolvina@gmail.com

Public Announcement – PSHSS 2nd Stage Screening Qualifiers for Grade 7 (SY 2021-2022)

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Science High School System (DOST-PSHS System) announces the list of applicants who qualify for the second stage screening. Visit www.pshs.edu.ph or the following offices:

Main Campus
Agham Road, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel. nos.:  (02) 8-929 1606 / 7-980 0688
E-mail address: ocd.mc@pshs.edu.ph

Ilocos Region Campus
Poblacion East, San Ildefonso, Ilocos Sur
Tel. nos.:  (077) 674 1454  /  674 1446 
E-mail address:  admin@irc.pshs.edu.ph

Cagayan Valley Campus
Barangay Masoc, Bayombong,
Nueva Vizcaya
Mobile Nos.:  0920 243 5155 /
0917 114 8213
E-mail address:  mrnvillamorel@cvc.pshs.edu.ph

Cordillera Administrative Region Campus
Purok 12, Irisan, Baguio City
Mobile nos.:  (074) 423-0126 / 423-0122
E-mail address: ocd@carc.pshs.edu.ph / registrar@carc.pshs.edu.ph

Central Luzon Campus
Lily Hill, Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga
Tel. Nos.: (045) 499-0136 / 499-5597
Mobile nos.:  0925 4777417 /
0945 407 0251
E-mail address: official@clc.pshs.edu.ph

CALABARZON Region Campus
Barangay Sampaga, Batangas City
Tel no.:  (043) 724 6199
Mobile no.: 0917 654 8089
E-mail address: pshscbz@gmail.com

MIMAROPA Region Campus
Barangay Rizal, Odiongan, Romblon
Mobile nos.:  0927 886 6315  /  0939 817 2212  /  0966 149 3980  /  0949 700 1379
E-mail address:  pshs@mrc.pshs.edu.ph / registrar@mrc.pshs.edu.ph

Bicol Region Campus
Tagongtong, Goa, Camarines Sur
Tel. no.:  (054) 453 2048
Mobile no.:  0929 152 5657
E-mail address: ocd@brc.pshs.edu.ph

Western Visayas Campus
Zone 1, Barangay Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City
Tel. nos.:  (033) 329 5644  /  329 0501
E-mail address: iloilo@wvc.pshs.edu.ph

Central Visayas Campus
Talaytay, Argao, Cebu
Tel. no.:  (032) 485-1000 local 5012
Mobile no.: 0977 788 4645
E-mail address: ocd@cvisc.pshs.edu.ph

Eastern Visayas Campus
Palo, Leyte
Tel. Nos.: (053) 888-0366 / 888-0359 / 888-0074
Mobile no.: 0917 315 2692
E-mail address:  ocd.evc@pshs.edu.ph

Zamboanga Peninsula Region Campus
Barangay Cogon, Dipolog City
Mobile no.: 09184963057
E-mail address: milibiran@zrc.pshs.edu.ph

Central Mindanao Campus
Nangka, Balo-i, Lanao del Norte
Tel. nos.:  (063) 836 0097 to 98
Mobile no.:  0998 571 6805
E-mail address:  ocd@cmc.pshs.edu.ph

Southern Mindanao Campus
Tugbok District, Davao City
Tel. nos.:  (082) 293 0002  / 
293 0004
Mobile no.:  09196771325
E-mail address: info@smc.pshs.edu.ph

Paraiso, Koronadal City, South Cotabato
Mobile nos.:  0917 163 7933
E-mail address:  ocd@src.pshs.edu.ph

Caraga Region Campus
Barangay Ampayon, Butuan City
Tel. no.:  (085) 817 0987 local 103
Mobile Nos.: 0946 591 0038 /
0927 186 4792
E-mail address: registrar@crc.pshs.edu.ph

Admissions Office
PSHS System-Office of the Executive Director
Tel. No.: (02) 8-9397747
E-mail address: admissions@pshs.edu.ph

lnilabas na ng Philippine Science High School System ang opisyal na resulta ng Stage 1 ng Requirements for Admission, Criteria and Evaluation para sa mga papasok na Grade 7 iskolar sa School Year 2021-2022.
Ang  listahan  ng qualifiers  para sa  Stage  2  ay  maaring  makita  sa kanilang website: www.pshs.edu.ph

Sa inyong mga katanungan, mag-email sa admissions@pshs.edu.ph o tumawag sa (02) 8-9397747.

(Photo Credit: UP-Mindanao research team Researcher conducting a survey among longganisa vendor-processors in a typical public market in Davao City)

Study explains possible danger of low nitrite in skinless longganisa
Sakto lang! No more, no less is the way to go in processing food and the exact recommended measurements of preservatives must be strictly followed to keep our food safe for consumption.

Studies have shown that nitrite plays a key role in the preservation of meat products such as tocino and longganisa. While the consumption of too much nitrite over long periods of time could have carcinogenic risks, its underapplication, on the other hand, may also pose another health risk, as this could shorten the product’s shelf life and compromise the integrity of the meat products.

Nitrite used in meat curing adds a distinct color and flavor and enhances the antioxidant activity of processed meat products. It helps prevent the product from turning rancid and it controls the growth of foodborne pathogens, such as Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium which causes botulism. Botulism is a rare and potentially fatal illness caused by the toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, which may result in weakness, blurred vision, fatigue, and difficulty in speaking and in breathing.

According to the World Health Organization, foodborne botulism, which is caused by the consumption of improperly processed food, is rare but can be potentially fatal if not diagnosed immediately and treated accordingly.

A team of researchers from the University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao) conducted a study “Linking Socio-demographics of Meat Vendor-processorsto Residual Nitrite in Skinless Native SausageSold in a Typical Public Market in the Philippines,” which examined a total of 90 cured skinless longganisa packs weighing 120–320 grams per pack, collected from the vendor-processors at a typical public market in Davao City.

“The study results demonstrated that all skinless longganisa samples gathered had residual nitrite levels ranging from 0.005–1.031 mg/kg, which is way below the minimum required amount of 50 mg/kg for the inhibition of Clostridium botulinum,” says Dr. Virginia P. Obsioma, Professor at the Department of Food Science and Chemistry, College of Science and Mathematics, UP Mindanao.

In relevant and earlier studies, it was explained that the underapplication or lack of nitrite used may, on the one hand, compromise the microbiological safety of cured meat. It was also found previously that, traditionally, Filipino market vendors primarily used nitrite more for color, texture, and flavor functions, rather than as a preservative or antimicrobial agent.

The current study, however, finds that the extreme precaution of the vendor processors, which may have led to their underapplication of nitrite in skinless longganisa, may have been a result of their fear of the ill effects of overapplication of nitrite.

The study also revealed that those with higher educational attainment tend to apply less residual nitrite levels for food preservation, with the values falling way below the recommended limit. The skinless longganisa processed by the vendor-processors who reached high school was found to have lower residual nitrite compared to that processed by those who attained elementary education.

Furthermore, the study revealed that skinless longganisa vendor processors who are married tend to incorporate more nitrite into their products, compared to their unmarried counterparts. The same result was observed among longganisa processors with children in the household, as they tend to increase the application of nitrite to make the color and flavor more pleasing to the consumers.

“There is a need to improve the food safety knowledge and practices of the skinless longganisa vendor-processors, specifically in the application of appropriate nitrite levels to ensure the safety of the processed meat,” Kriza Faye A. Calumba, also a member of the research team, said.

The team also recommends that food safety seminars must be regularly conducted to educate food processors and vendors on appropriate amounts of nitrite and emphasize the correct measurements to apply to avoid the bad effects of both overapplication and underapplication.

Likewise, the researchers suggested that the seminar can be conducted in the vernacular to ensure easy and correct understanding by all participants.

Realizing the practical value of the study, this can serve as a relevant information for local government units and government agencies mandated to oversee the safety of products sold commercially for the protection of the consuming public. 

This study appeared in the Philippine Journal of Science (Vol. 149, No. 4, December 2020), the oldest science journal in the country, published by the Department of Science and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII). For detailed information on the study, you may visit the link https://philjournalsci.dost.gov.ph/ (Geraldine Bulaon-DucusinS&T Media Service)