ILOILO — The Iloilo School-Based Multipurpose Teen Center, an innovative program that helps empower and develop teenagers into productive individuals, has been chosen as finalist to Galing Pook Award for Outstanding Local Governance Program this 2015.
Provincial Population Officer Ramon Yee said they are now preparing a presentation detailing the project’s benefits and impact to the National Selection Committee en banc of Galing Pook Foundation.
The final presentation of the program will be on August 31 at the SMX Convention Center inside the Mall of Asia complex wherein Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. will present it himself, he said.
Yee said they are crossing their fingers hoping that the program can catch the interest of the selection committee.
“We really hope that this program will get the coveted award for it will be a great help for us in the province,” Yee said.
The establishment teen centers in public high schools here is part of the province’s strategy to attain the objectives of the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program.
By the end of the year, the province will have a total of 50 teen centers covering all of the major public high schools in 43 local government units, including those from island-barangays of Carles and Concepcion.
The project aims to contribute to the reduction of incidence of risky sexual (e.g. pre-marital sex resulting to teenage pregnancy) and non-sexual behaviors (e.g. use of illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes) among the youth by providing a venue where they can spend time to develop their potentials as individuals instead.
Specifically, it provides venue for personality development, skills enhancement, and recreational programs. Most importantly, it helps them deal with their reproductive health needs and other personal programs through counseling services by trained peer and guidance counselors in a confidential and compassionate way.
The project has been proven effective when the Provincial Population Office held a 2014 survey on risky sexual and non-sexual behaviors among the 2,938 users of the pilot teen centers.
The 2014 survey showed significant decline in the incidence of both risky sexual and non-sexual behaviors among the users compared to 2012 benchmark data:
*Cigarette smoking decreased by 3.93% for males and 4.98% for females
*Drinking alcoholic beverages decreased by 9.29% for females and 4.33% for males
*Use of prohibited drugs decreased 1.11% for males and less than 1% for females
*Pre-marital sex also dropped by 2.97% for males and 1.05% for females.