World Population Day is celebrated every July 11 of each year. It is a global observance authorized by the United Nations since 1989. The celebration aims to increase people’s awareness on various population-related issues such as family planning, adolescent health, gender equality, education, environment, employment, and poverty.
For 2016, the theme is “Investing in Teenage Girls”. It highlights the importance of prioritizing programs that promote young girls’ education, health, and employment for national development. Teenage girls around the world face greater challenges than their male counterparts. In developing countries, almost 20 million girls between ages 15 to 19 give birth each day, and ten percent of girls who had sex before age 15 said it was coerced. Suicide and complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death among girls between the ages of 15 and 19. “Every teenage girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for them”. (UNFPA)
It has been a practice of the entire Commission to hold a month-long celebration of the WPD. As a kickoff activity, POPCOM Region-5 will hold a motorcade on July 11, 2016 at 6:30AM around Legazpi City and Daraga. A short program will follow at 8:00 to 9:30 AM at the Activity Center of Embarcadero de Legazpi. Partner agencies, youth groups, population program officers, and the media will be invited to the event.
A summit on teenage pregnancy will also be conducted on July 18 in partnership with Legazpi City Health Office. One hundred (100) teen mothers from the different barangays of Legazpi will be invited to the event. Resource persons from the Department of Health and Legazpi City Health Office will discuss about teen pregnancy, access to health services, and the importance of facility-based delivery. The National Nutrition Council, TESDA, Legazpi City Population and Nutrition Office, Department of Education Education-ALS, and the Philippine National Police, will be requested to set-up booths where the young mothers can receive information about child rearing, nutrition, livelihood skills, alternative learning, and the laws on violence against women.
Also, part of the month-long celebration is the conduct of a youth camp and film making workshop on July 6-7, 2016 at La Edley Resort where seventy two (72) Grades 9, 10, and 11 students and their coaches from the thirteen (13) divisions attended.
Local Government Units, Academe, Media, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), National Government Agencies (NGAs), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) are encouraged to support the celebration by hanging streamers, conducting activities relative to the theme, or highlighting the message of investing in adolescent girls in their agency’s activities.