By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The provincial government of Iloilo is reassessing its youth-based programs to curb the rising number of suicide cases among teens.
“We want to zero in as to whether these programs are really effective to our youth,” said Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor after meeting with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO).
Based on Iloilo Provincial Police Office (IPPO) records, 22 of the 67 suicide cases from January to September 2019 were youth victims.
The IPPO also noted there were only 68 suicide cases for the year 2018.
With the spike in suicide cases, Provincial Board Member Carol Espinosa also wants a local ordinance for a mental health program in the province. She proposed the creation of a Mental Health Board, a 24/7 hotline to respond to emergency crisis and promote mental health awareness.
Defensor is also looking at boosting the programs of 63 teen centers scattered in 42 towns and component city of Passi.
Run by the Provincial Population Office, Defensor said these teen centers proved to be effective in guidance counseling and personality development activities.