Full Title
Executive Issuance Type
Date of Approval
June 25, 2021

Other Details

Issuance Category
Related to Note
R.A. No. 10354
EO No. 24, s. 2017
RA No. 8044
RA No. 10742

Official Gazette

Official Gazette Source
Official Gazette volume 117 number 27 (July 5, 2021) page 6933

Full Text of Issuance

June 25, 2021



WHEREAS, under Republic Act (RA) No. 10354 or the "Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012," the State recognizes and guarantees the human rights of all persons including the right to health which includes reproductive health, the right to education and information, and the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs, and the demands of responsible parenthood;

WHEREAS, among the declared strategies and priority legislative agenda under the updated Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 is to reach the demographic dividend across all regions by, among others, preventing teenage pregnancies, while the Philippine Youth Development Plan (PYDP) 2017-2022 aims to strengthen youth participation in responsible sexual and reproductive health, by lowering the incidence of teenage pregnancies, unintended pregnancies, and maternal mortality, and increasing safe motherhood practices;

WHEREAS, data from the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System of the Philippine Statistics Authority recorded a total of 183,967 live births among adolescents aged 10-19 years in 2018, equivalent to 504 live births per day in the said age group, and 180,916 in 2019 for the same age group, equivalent to 495 live births per day;

WHEREAS, according to a January 2020 Policy Brief by the United Nations Population Fund Philippines, out of all live births within the adolescent age group, only 3% is fathered by men of the same age group, and that such pregnancies may be a result of coercion and unequal power relations between girls and older men;

WHEREAS, the number of adolescent pregnancies are expected to rise, as girls already living in dysfunctional homes spend more time with their households as a result of the pandemic and are thereby more exposed to abuse;

WHEREAS, based on a 2016 study by the United Nations Population Fund Philippines, adolescents lose an aggregate lifetime earnings of about P33 Billion due to early childbearing;

WHEREAS, childbearing in adolescence carries increased risks of health problems for both mother and child, like anemia, sexually transmitted infections, and postpartum hemorrhage;

WHEREAS, Executive Order No. 24 (s. 2017) directs the Human Development and Poverty Reduction (HDPR) Cabinet Cluster to: (i) make education the central strategy for investing in people; (ii) advance and protect public health; (iii) address concerns on population, reproductive health and sustainable development; (iv) promote equal gender opportunities in all spheres of public policies and programs; and (v) ensure effective coordination of national government programs for poverty reduction at the local level;

WHEREAS, under RA No. 8044 or the "Youth in Nation-Building Act," among the objectives of the National Youth Commission (NYC) is to provide leadership in the formulation of policies and in the setting of priorities and direction of all youth promotion and development programs and activities, and to harness and develop the full potential of the youth as partners in nation-building;

WHEREAS, under RA No. 10742 or the "Sangguniang Kabataan Reform Act of 2015," the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) shall initiate and implement, in coordination with any national government agency and/or any private or nongovernment institution, programs and projects designed to promote general welfare, development and empowerment of the youth;

WHEREAS, the State acknowledges that at the root of the rising number of adolescent pregnancies are engendered patterns of discrimination, deep-seated norms and attitudes that normalize and justify violence against women and children, lack of information and education, and the vulnerability and exclusion of women and children living in remote and rural areas, and recognizes that it is imperative to carefully coordinate, rationalize, monitor and assess the efforts of concerned government agencies and instrumentalities to ensure a whole-of-government approach in implementing measures to curb the rising number of teenage pregnancies, pursuant to the objectives of PDP 2017-2022 and the PYDP 2017-2022;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, do hereby order:

SECTION 1. Prevention of Teenage Pregnancies a National Priority. — The implementation of measures to address the root causes of the rising number of adolescent pregnancies is hereby adopted as a National Priority. To this end, the State shall mobilize existing coordinative and legal mechanisms related to the prevention of adolescent pregnancies, and to strengthen the adolescents' capacity to make autonomous and informed decisions about their reproductive and sexual health by ensuring access to comprehensive sexuality education and reproductive health and rights services.

SECTION 2. Interventions for the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancies. — Consistent with their respective mandates, subject to coordination of efforts through the HDPR Cabinet Cluster, all government agencies and instrumentalities shall identify and implement as far as practicable interventions related to the prevention of adolescent pregnancies, such as comprehensive sexuality education, education and employment opportunities for young people, and health promotion through media and communications. Agencies shall closely monitor the implementation of interventions in their regional and field offices and units.

In the implementation of the identified programs and interventions, all concerned agencies and instrumentalities shall maximize the use of digital and online platforms to reach adolescents and young people, and raise awareness on the protection and promotion of reproductive health and rights.

These agencies and instrumentalities shall exert all efforts to reach especially those in geographically isolated and depressed areas such as island municipalities, upland communities, hard-to-reach areas, and conflict-affected areas by empowering their regional and/or field offices and strengthening coordinative mechanisms with local government units, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders.

SECTION 3. Youth and Community Mobilization. — SKs are encouraged to develop interventions to arrest and prevent all known causes of adolescent pregnancies, and support adolescent mothers, which shall be reflected in the Local Youth Development Plan (LYDP) and in the Annual Investment Program (AIP) of their respective localities.

SKs shall endeavor to identify and implement viable programs, activities and projects and allocate a portion of their budget, as necessary, towards the following objectives:

(i) educating the youth on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, even in a non-formal education setting, and normalize respectful dialogue on sexual and reproductive health matters;

(ii) providing youth-friendly and rights-based measures to support pregnant girls and young mothers to continue and complete their education;

(iii) formulating retention strategies and life skills programs for pregnant girls and young mothers, which may include vocational training opportunities;

(iv) following up on pregnant girls or young mothers who have dropped out of school, through targeted outreach and support programs; and

(v) ensuring the functionality of Barangay Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children desks.

All members of the HDPR Cabinet Cluster, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Education, Department of Health, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Economic and Development Authority, as well as the NYC, Philippine Commission on Women and Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), and other relevant government agencies, shall extend all assistance necessary to enable SKs to implement identified programs, activities and projects within their localities.

SECTION 4. Role of the NYC. — The NYC shall establish a forum for continuing dialogue between the government and the youth sector on the proper planning and evaluation of policies, programs and projects affecting the youth, convening for the purpose representatives of all youth organizations and institutions, including SKs from barangay, municipal, city, provincial and national levels.

SECTION 5. Role of the POPCOM. — The POPCOM shall continue to educate leaders, parents, and other community members about evidence-based strategies to reduce, if not eliminate, adolescent pregnancy, and improve adolescent reproductive health.

The POPCOM shall consolidate into a Comprehensive Action Plan Towards the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancies the different initiatives of all government agencies and institutions. For this purpose, it may call upon any department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the government for assistance. The POPCOM shall submit such Plan to the HDPR Cabinet Cluster.

SECTION 6. Interventions for the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancies as Budget Priority. — The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall ensure that the annual National Expenditure Program shall include initiatives for the prevention of adolescent pregnancies in the annual Budget Priorities Framework and its corresponding budget guidelines. The DBM shall likewise support Program Convergence Budgeting for these initiatives to ensure harmonized interventions and investment programming.

SECTION 7. Monitoring. — To ensure a whole-of-government approach in attaining the demographic dividend, the HDPR Cabinet Cluster shall provide overall coordination among all government agencies and instrumentalities, monitor the implementation of relevant interventions at all levels, and ensure that such strategies are informed and supported by, among others, international best practices and evidence-based population data and analyses.

Within sixty (60) days from the issuance of this Order, the HDPR Cabinet Cluster shall report to the Office of the President (OP) the mechanisms effected to implement this Order, with appropriate recommendations. Thereafter, the HDPR Cluster shall submit annual reports to the OP on the implementation of this Order.

SECTION 8. Funding. — Subject to the provisions of the Annual General Appropriations Act and RA No. 10354, the amount necessary to implement this Order shall be charged against the allocation for Gender and Development in the respective budgets of concerned agencies, and as may be warranted, against sources to be identified by the DBM as may be necessary.

SECTION 9. Separability. — If any provision of this Order is declared invalid or unconstitutional, the other provisions not affected thereby shall remain valid and subsisting.

SECTION 10. Repeal. — All issuances, rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with this Order are hereby repealed, modified or amended accordingly.

SECTION 11. Effectivity. — This Order shall take effect immediately upon its complete publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

DONE in the City of Manila, this 25th day of June, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Twenty-One.

Published in the Official Gazette, Vol. 117, No. 27, p. 6933 on July 5, 2021.

Source: CD Asia Online