The Commission on Population and Development Region III is one in the celebration of Linggo ng Kabataan on August 12-16 as part of its observance of the International Youth Day themed “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health”. 

The event which bears the local theme I Choose #MalayaAkongMaging highlights the importance of giving the young people the freedom to be who they want to be by helping them choose better options for themselves, for their families and the community as a whole. 

In a statement, POPCOM – Region III Regional Director Lourdes P. Nacionales pointed out the potential of the young people as active partners in societal development. “It is not just to protect them but also to include them in the development of their respective communities.” She also added that the youth should be given safe platforms where they can increase their knowledge and engage in dialogue on topics like Safe Sex, Teenage Pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and Mental Health which are all crucial in cultivating their behaviors as they transition to adulthood. 

Realizing the role of educators in promoting the overall wellbeing of the young people,  POPCOM – Region III revitalized its partnership with DepEd Region III in addressing population issues concerning adolescents particularly the rising cases of teenage first-time and repeated pregnancies; HIV/AIDS, Metal Health and many more. According to RD Nacionales, the collaboration will revisit strategies that would adapt to the new normal in the provision of AHD information and services among in-school youth in both formal and non-formal educational systems and harmonize efforts in the local level represented by local DepEd divisions and provincial/city population offices.

POPCOM – Region III will provide physical copies of AHD information materials for distribution as well as electronic copies of the same materials for possible reproduction and dissemination through means of information communication technology, which include, but are not limited to virtual webinars, e-mails, and social media accounts which DepEd RO III shall disseminate to all DepEd schools in the region for distribution or dissemination among students either in both print and electronic forms. DepEd RO III will ensure the integration of the key learning messages of the said information materials in virtual discussions and/or asynchronous activities participated by the students.

The agency also entered into a tripartite partnership with Mabalacat City College (MCC) and Mabalacat City POPGAD Office in addressing the different social concerns of the youth in the community. The initiative which is the first ever collaboration of POPCOM with a Higher Education Institution under its NSTP program aims to help advance the community by means of shaping and enabling MCC trainers to reach out to more students and young people in the community, influencing them to be responsible, healthy and to live effectively.

POPCOM – Region III continues its initiatives on Adolescent Health and Development together with the local government units through its respective provincial/city population offices. Activities in coordination with LGUs’ slated for the whole month in celebration of the Linggo ng Kabataan and International Youth Day includes capacity building among DepEd teachers and service providers in the provinces of Aurora and Zambales, City of Meycauayan and Angeles City as well as the young professionals from Over the Edge Philippines (CSO). The city of San Jose is also set to conduct a virtual U4U, an interactive communication campaign for the youth aiming to increase their knowledge on delaying sexual debut, preventing teenage pregnancy and avoiding sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

Press Release No.PR-2021-07Release Date:August 12, 2021