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Philippines Only Country in Asia Where Teen Pregnancy Rising

The Philippines is the only Asia-Pacific country where the rate of teen pregnancies rose over the last two decades and the slow decline of its overall fertility rate may deprive the country of the faster economic growth expected in places that have more working-age people than younger and older dependents, the U.N. Population Fund said Thursday.

Girls aged 15 to 19 make up 10 percent of the country’s population of 100 million and one out of 10 of them have already given birth, UNFPA country representative Klaus Beck said. That fertility rate in that age group is 57 births for every 1,000 girls as of 2013 _ higher than rates found by surveys every five years from 1998.

He emphasized the urgency of fully implementing a reproductive health law, investing in quality education and health services for teenage girls, and increasing jobs for youth.

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