ILOILO – After the project is proven effective, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has decided to establish a school-based multipurpose teen center in a massive scale this year.
The governor has approved the release of P6.5-million for the creation of new teen centers in 21 public schools, including those that are in the island-barangays.
With a budget of P550,000 each, a teen center will be made in Granada National High School-Ballesteros Campus in Higantes Island, Carles and Tambaliza National High School in Pan de Azucar Island, Concepcion. Provincial Population Officer Ramon Yee explained that this development is a testament of the governor’s commitment to contribute to the empowerment and development of adolescents, especially in remote areas.
The other teen centers will be created in the following schools:
- Guimbal National High School in Guimbal
- Botong-Cabanbanan National High School in Oton
- Leganes National High School in Leganes
- Zarraga National High School in Zarraga
- Maasin National High School in Maasin
- Calinog National High School in Calinog
- Bingawan National High School in Bingawan
- Palanguia National High School in Pototan
- Anilao National High School in Anilao
- Barotac Nuevo National High School in Barotac Nuevo
- P.D. Monfort National Science High School in Dumangas
- Dela Paz National High School in Banate
- Ajuy National High School in Ajuy
- San Rafael National High School in San Rafael
- Roberto H. Tirol High School in Concepcion
- Batad National High School in Batad
- Balasan National High School in Balasan
- Estancia National High School in Estancia, and
- Santiago National High School in Barotac Viejo
Each teen center in the main land has a budget of P300,000 for the procurement of recreational materials, educational equipment, rehabilitation, and training of peer helpers and teen center coordinators.
The project, which started in 2011, aims to provide venue for personality development and skills enhancement for the youth to be productive and competitive individuals. The center also provides counseling services that helps them address their reproductive health needs and queries and personal problems. By doing this, the province can contribute to the reduction of the incidence of risky sexual and non-sexual behaviors among the youth.
In fact, during a survey held in 2014 in ten pilot teen centers in Iloilo, the province has seen various improvements in the behavior of the students relative to smoking, drinking of alcoholic beverages, use of illegal drugs and pre-marital sex two years after establishment of the project in their schools. With 3,337 respondents, the survey revealed that there were significant decline in the incidence of both risky sexual and non-sexual behaviors among the users of the teen centers.
The incidence of cigarette smoking, for instance, declined by 3.93% for males and 4.98% for females between 2012 and 2014. The incidence of pre-marital sex, on the other hand, dropped by 2.97% among males and 1.05% among females.