Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

Teenage pregnancy prevention is a national priority, according to Executive Order (EO) 141 issued in June 2021. Prior to the EO, the Zuellig Family Foundation already has programs that create a nurturing environment to engage the youth, develop their leadership potential, and foster greater participation in community affairs toward reducing adolescent pregnancies. These programs improve the local capacity to build and deliver adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) programs at the community level, gain community support for ASRH programs at the local level, and mold informed, responsible, and healthy adolescents in the community.

The Youth Leadership and Governance Program (YLGP), in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), seeks to improve the leadership capacities of youth leaders in developing programs that drive the youth’s demand for ASRH services and commodities. The program involves 10 Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) Federation presidents from municipalities in Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and Lanao del Sur. The adolescent birth rates (ABRs) in 8 of the 10 municipalities are decreasing faster than the 6% national decrease in ABR.

Started in 2020, The Challenge Initiative (TCI) is a five-year co-funded and co-managed program with the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. It aims to reduce teenage pregnancies by promoting positive health-seeking behavior and improving access to family planning programs. To fulfill its objective of creating adolescent-friendly cities, TCI fosters the adoption of proven practices from its five regional hubs: East Africa, Francophone West Africa, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

The pilot cities are Cagayan de Oro (CDO), Dipolog, and Puerto Princesa. Together with the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom), TCI will be scaled up to more cities–10 cities managed by ZFF and 12 by PopCom—using leadership and governance training as its foundational approach to creating adolescent youth-friendly cities.

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