More teen centres, which are venues for personality development and skills enhancement - will be up and running in Central Visayas this year, according to the Population Commission.

Thirteen additional teen centers will be operational to cater to teens who need to air concerns that they have trouble discussing with their parents or siblings, Population Officer III Myrna Alaba said.

"It will serve as first aid to assist young people with their problems if they cannot express these to their families," Alabas was quoted by the Manila Bulletin.

Not only can young people be guided in addressing their concerns while at the centre, but they also have a place to hone their skills and develop their personalities to eventually become productive members of the community.

Teen centres are established, owned, managed and operated by local government units (LGUs), with POPCOM providing technical assistance where helping the youth is concerned.  

“We will help them establish the center. Technical assistance would include training, modules, materials and some other agencies can also help,” Alabas said.

Presently, there are six teen centers in Central Visayas: Ubay and Jagna in Bohol; Naga and Bantayan in Cebu; Larena in Siquijor; and one in Dumaguete City. 

The POPCOM’s Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program (AHYDP) focuses on the total well-being  of young Filipinos aged 10 to 14, 15 to 19 and 20 to 24. It primarily addresses the youth’s sexual and reproductive health concerns, particularly teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

The commission provides assistance through policy support, service delivery, capacity building, advocacy and information, communication and education (IEC), research and management, research and management information system.

Another report on young Filipinos included teenage pregnancy statistics. The commission reports an average of five girls between the ages of 10 and 14 giving birth daily. In 2014, there were 1,700 pregnancy cases, and the number went higher (1,986) in 2015.

During the recent World Population Day commemoration in the country, both the commission and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) emphasized the importance of comprehensive sexual education. MIMS

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