CENTRAL Visayas had the highest reported cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) in the country in 2019 at 3,186, according to data from the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) 7 based on the 2019 Annual Report on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Act of 2012.
Reported VAWC cases in the region’s cities and provinces also significantly increased from 2018, when there were only 1,633 cases.
The National Capital Region ranked second highest with a total of 1,554 reported VAWC cases in 2019, which is lower than the 1,731 reported cases in the region in 2018.
VAWC CASES IN REGION 7 2018 2019 Negros Oriental 245 732 Bohol 404 718 Cebu Province 435 707 Cebu City 352 586 Lapu-Lapu City 97 327 Mandaue City 84 88 Siquijor 16 28 Total cases 1,633 3,186 SOURCE: 2019 ANNUAL REPORT ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT OF 2012
Nationwide, the Philippine National Police recorded a total of 19,743 cases of violence against women.
With the aim to raise awareness on an individual’s rights to make choices over his or her own body and future without violence and coercion, the Popcom and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) centered their 2021 State of the World Population (SWOP) report on issues relating to “bodily autonomy.”
During the Philippine launch of the 2021 SWOP report (published yearly highlighting issues on population, development and human rights) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, UNFPA country representative Leila Joudane emphasized that bodily autonomy for girls and women can be violated in various ways such as reproductive coercion, rape, marital rape, violence, child marriage, and “honor” killings, among others.
Bodily autonomy may translate to an individual’s power to make autonomous decisions about healthcare, contraception and sex.
In the 2021 SWOP report, Popcom and UNFPA said adolescent pregnancy has been a national emergency as the Philippines ranks fourth in terms of adolescent birth rate among Southeast Asian countries.
In the Philippines, there were about 170 live births among minors every day in 2019.
The trend of teenage pregnancy in the region, however, decreased from 6.6 percent (13,808 cases of reported teenage pregnancy out of 209,321 eligible population) in 2018 to 5.35 percent (9,298 reported cases of teenage pregnancy out of 173,640 eligible population) in 2019, according to Popcom 7.
Popcom, utilizing the reports from Civil Registration and Vital Statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority, said the number of births from mothers aged 10-14 in the country “is generally increasing” with about seven live births among children every day in 2019.
The number has increased from three births a day in 2011, while more minors who have given birth had repeat pregnancies.
Based on the 2017 United Nations Children’s Fund, the Philippines is 12th globally on the most number of child marriage cases with around 726,000 child brides.
Popcom said there are only a few cases of child marriages in Central Visayas (among Indigenous Peoples in City of Naga, Cebu and Bohol Eskaya Tribe); however, the Commission does not have available specific data on this yet.
This year’s SWOP report was launched globally last April 14.