POPCOM teaches ‘HEART’ to the youth

CEBU CITY The Commission on Population (Popcom) launched its 'Heart to H.E.A.R.T.' campaign during the 888 Media Forum at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel here on Tuesday.

Carl Dave Ang of Popcom Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) said the campaign is aimed at creating awareness on the increasing number of HIV/AIDS victims and teenage pregnancy in the country.

The essence of 'Heart to H.E.A.R.T. is to correct the misconception and misinformation of our young people about sexual intercourse because normally they get their information from their peers, Ang said.

The campaign aims to talk about the H.E.A.R.T. issues of adolescents and teens: H - HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases; E - early sexual encounter; A - adolescent sexuality; R - reproductive health; and T - teenage pregnancy.

"In a span of five years, beginning in 2011, there are almost 200 cases of teenage pregnancy wherein they gave birth at the age of 10 years old," Ang said.

The Popcom central office launched the Youth for Youth program last year, but as the RPO7 saw the need to create more awareness on HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy, thus they initiated the creation of the Heart to H.E.A.R.T. campaign, Ang said.

"Last year, we launched Heart to H.E.A.R.T. locally in February because of Valentine's Day. So, with the success of the program last year, wherein we were able to reach 20,000 students all over Region 7, the POPCOM central office ordered the nationwide implementation of the program this year, Ang said.

This year's campaign is in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), which sent a memo to the POPCOM central office suggesting that Heart to H.E.A.R.T. be implemented year round and not only during the month of February.

"We're happy that the DepEd created a memo. Now, we have been invited by seven DepEd divisions for the implementation of Heart to H.E.A.R.T. in their schools," Ang said. (with reports from Levirose Caballero/PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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