Global Reach: Philippines

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In the Philippines, we currently support work in Puerto Princesa capital of the Palawan province and Manila. The focus is on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and programs that support livelihoods opportunities for young people.

Issues affecting Youth

The population of the Philippines is very young, with a median age of 23.2 years. The incidence of poverty remains high compared to other countries in the region; the decline in poverty in the Philippines has been slow and uneven, compared to Indonesia or Vietnam.

Challenges in Education

There are challenges around the quality of education including poor results from standard entrance tests and of competency levels in different school topics, as well as high dropout rates and number of repeaters, low passing grades, overcrowded classrooms, and poor teaching quality. Large disparities in educational achievements can be observed across different socio-economic groups in the Philippines.

Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) and access to services

Knowledge of SRH issues among youth is low, and they are among those with the highest unmet needs for respective services. Abortion is illegal in the Philippines (no explicit exceptions). It is, however, still illegal to provide contraception to women under the age of 18 (the exceptions to that rule are difficult to meet). HIV/AIDS is on the rise among young Filipinos and Filipinas.

High youth unemployment

Youth face high unemployment (16%), especially in urban settings. Areas such as the National Capital Region (which includes Manila) post the highest youth unemployment rate in the Philippines with 24.5%. Youth employment is likely to be informal. There is a need in the Philippines to improve access to and equity in vocational training, so that opportunities are available and affordable for all, including women and at-risk youth.

Our Approach to tackling the Issues

  • Due to the large number of islands, we continue to refine and concentrate our geographic approach to maximize impact.
  • Support of adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs giving young people access to (youth-friendly) services and accurate SRH information including information on gender issues, in the context of the Philippines especially about contraception in paying huge attention to cultural acceptability.
  • Support of livelihoods programs offering vocational training and working in vocational/ career and life project counselling, including in schools. Taking into account the needs of young women, including young mothers.

Other countries in Asia:

Our Underwriters pay for all of our administrative and fundraising costs, so 100% of your donation goes directly to empowering at-risk youth.