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Friday, September 11, 2015

Zambo, Basilan youth train on reproductive health and rights

By Emmanuel D. Taghoy

ZAMBOANGA CITY – More than 50 students from various high schools in Isabela, Basilan and Zamboanga City were trained here on September 9-11 on reproductive health and rights.

Commission on Population (POPCOM)-9 Regional Director Reynaldo Wong said it is vital that students familiarize themselves with the existing laws that safeguard their reproductive health and rights.

“As we raise the students’ level of understanding and knowledge about gender sensitivity, we also equip them with life skills to become empowered and effective advocates of adolescent reproductive health and rights,” Wong said.

The students were accompanied by the school’s guidance counselors, who were in the same way capacitated in the techniques and skills to become effective advocates, providers, facilitators and moderators of activities and other services that promote adolescent reproductive health and rights.

Dir. Wong explained that adolescence is a critical journey for teens from childhood to adulthood. “This is the stage where they will experience bodily changes like physical, emotional and even social behavior. As such, they also become vulnerable to human rights abuses, particularly in the domains of sexuality and reproductive health,” said Wong.

According to Wong, young individuals who enter adulthood healthy and equipped with cheerfully established dispositions gain better chances at leading productive lives in adulthood. “The reverse can have detrimental consequences that could last a lifetime,” he stressed.

The activity is a collaborative effort of the Commission on Population, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mindanao Health project, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and Human Development and Empowerment Services, Inc. (HDES).

The same training and workshop will also be conducted for Zamboanga del Sur and Pagadian cluster youth advocates on September 15-17; Zamboanga del Norte, Dipolog and Dapitan cluster on September 23-25; and Zamboanga Sibugay cluster on September 28-30.