TACLOBAN CITY—The Commission on Population (POPCOM) in Eastern Visayas has partnered with various agencies in linking its U4U (You-for-You) program to a menu of adolescent sexuality and reproductive health interventions aimed at contributing to the improvement and promotion of the total well-being of young people in the region.

Called the U4U SPHERE (School-Peer-Health-Engagement-Research-Employment), the strategy will be implemented in local government units that commit to a holistic approach in adolescent sexuality and reproductive health programming.

Reyan L. Arinto, POPCOM-8 information officer and focal person for Adolescent Health and Youth Development (AHYD) said U4U SPHERE is now being implemented in Taft, Eastern Samar. The program piloted in Guiuan, Eastern Samar in November last year.

This after POPCOM’s partner, the Center for Health Solutions and Innovations, Philippines, Inc. (CHSI) conducted an advocacy workshop on January 12-13, 2015 to local government officials of Taft, including those from the municipal health office, municipal social welfare and development office, Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Education (DepEd) and Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

Arinto added that U4U SPHERE interventions include an integrated school-based program with focus on guidance counseling, life skills and values education; peer education outreach program; facility-based services with healthy lifestyle and fitness promotion; parent effectiveness seminars; a Teen Track system; and career guidance and job placement.

Arinto said POPCOM’s main role in the program is to conduct U4U, an entertainment-education (enter-educate) learning package that provides young people with critical information to help prevent early and unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections and diseases through mobile and Internet platforms.

“Another commitment of POPCOM is to conduct trainings on Learning Package on Parent Education on Adolescent Health and Development (LPPEAHD) to parents to help them provide the best type of guidance and advice to their adolescent children on matters pertaining to adolescent health and development, most especially on human sexuality related issues,” he added.

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