Downside of the quarantine in Tacloban

TACLOBAN CITY- The population office of this city has reported of a ‘positive effect’ on the current pandemic: decline of teenage pregnancies.
Based on their record, cases of teenage pregnancies in Tacloban last year, the start of the pandemic, was lower compared to previous year or in 2019.
Cielito Esquibel, city population officer, said that last year, there were only 350 teenage girls or below 20 years of age who got pregnant compared to the 457 cases in 2019.
“The pandemic has resulted to a positive effect, in a way, because it resulted to a decline of teenage pregnancy in Tacloban. Still this is alarming for us,” she said.
“The movement (restrictions) could be a big factor why we have a decline number of teenage pregnancy as they could not go out from their homes,” Esquibel added.
Under the restrictions imposed by the government, teenagers are prohibited to venture outside as a way to contain further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The city population officer, however, expressed of her worry that now that Tacloban City has been placed under a more relax quarantine classification of modified general community quarantine(MGCQ), might result to a higher number of female teenagers getting pregnant.
“While we don’t have any projection, we are really concern that there could be an increase of our teenage pregnancy cases now that we are under a more relax quarantine classification as this could result for our teenagers to go out and meet their friends or boyfriends, for example,” Esquibel said.
She then called on the parents of the teenagers to monitor their children as a way to protect them, especially girls from getting pregnant.
Esquibel said that getting pregnant at an early age would mean depriving them of a possible good future and that they are not ready to tackle the responsibilities of being a teenage mother or parent.
Meantime, Esquibel disclosed that of the 350 girls who got pregnant last year, almost 50 percent or 173 lived at the various resettlement sites for families whose houses were totally destroyed when Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ hit the city in 2013.
And out of this number, five of them were only 14 years of age when they got pregnant.
Esquibel, however, said that they have no data as to the circumstances that led to the pregnancy of these young girls.
She said that the pandemic has also resulted for them to temporarily stop their programs like information dissemination on teenage pregnancy to the villages.