By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – The regional office of the Commission on Population (POPCOM-Caraga Region 13) is set to establish more school-based teen centers in Agusan del Norte towns, including Cabadbaran City.
In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd-Agusan del Norte), these school-based teen centers will soon be fully functional in selected municipalities of Agusan del Norte, and these will become the focal point for providing appropriate information and services on sexuality and reproductive health for young people through workshops, counseling, trainings, and among others, POPCOM 13 Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano told The Manila Bulletin on Friday.
He said the creation of the teen centers was an offshoot of the partnership between the DepEd-Agusan del Norte and the agency and other relevant partner agencies, in its newest initiative dubbed as “Youth Optimizing Life Opportunities (YOLO) Program”.
The YOLO Program components – Guidance Counseling/ Coaching Services; Health and Nutrition Services; Capacity Building; Classroom-Based Guidance and Coaching; and Behavior Change Communication ¬– are related to POPCOM’s Information and Service Delivery Network or ISDN initiative’s objectives which is to fully serve the young people and provide them with appropriate information and services they need, he said.
“The program is now implemented in 3 pilot areas of Agusan del Norte – Buenavista, Nasipit and Carmen,” Makinano said.
Following the program launching, POPCOM Caraga Region 13 facilitated an enhancement workshop on YOLO through Adolescent Health and Development Program among guidance counselors, teachers, student leaders from the different schools in Agusan del Norte together with some program stakeholders – as preparation for the full implementation of YOLO and its various interventions, he said.
DepEd Agusan del Norte Division also partnered with the Department of Health-Caraga, Agusan del Norte Provincial Population/Health Offices, Civil Society Organizations and other relevant local partners; DepEd-ADN District Offices, DepEd Schools (public/private), Provincial/Municipal Social Welfare and Development, Hospitals with Adolescent-youth Friendly Center, Rural Health Units (RHUs) and Private Clinics – for the effective implementation and sustainability of said initiative.
In its continuing advocacy and campaign to address the prevalent youth-related sexuality issues that the young people of today are facing, POPCOM Caraga Region 13, through its Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) Program, is one with DepEd and other local program partners in promoting and providing the adolescents better quality health services responsive to the needs and protection of their rights, Makinano added.
Tags: Adolescent Health and Development Program, Agusan del Norte, Commission on Population, Manila Bulletin, POPCOM, POPCOM Caraga Region 13, teen centers, Teen centers to be established in Agusan for YOLO program, YOLO