IGACOS, Davao del Norte – As one of the viable forces in youth development – the newly-installed Sangguniang Kabataan Officers participated in the recently-held Juniors’ Responsibilities on Gender and Development (JRGAD) Training in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte on May 24, 2018.

“With the new era for leadership at hand, these SK officials shall serve as the ‘voice of change’ and ‘youth development champions’ among adolescents in their respective barangays”, said Commission on Population (POPCOM) – Region XI Director  Bai Agnes Sampulna.

The conduct of JRGAD training orientation is one of POPCOM’s efforts in curtailing the rise in teenage pregnancy incidence in Davao Region. Through JRGAD, the adolescents are empowered to make responsible choices and provide young people with appropriate information and life skills to enable them to cope with problems related to the attainment of their full development into adulthood. Topics discussed during the training orientation are Sex, Gender and Sexuality, Fertility Awareness, STI, HIV/AIDS, Like Skills, Peer Education and Communication Skills. JRGAD has also been conducted in Tagum City, Davao City and Compostela Valley, succeeding trainings will be done in Panabo City and Davao del Norte.

Being one of the big-ticket programs of POPCOM, the Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) Program hopes to enable adolescents aged 10-19 years to prevent early and repeated pregnancies by reducing by half the proportion of adolescents who have begun childbearing from 13% to 6% by 2022; and to achieve zero repeated pregnancies among minors who have begun childbearing.