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5 December 2019, Quezon City, The Philippines - Marginalized pre-adolescents such as children with disabilities and those living in hard-to-reach areas are facing significantly harder development challenges, in terms of their nutrition status, educational attainment, and experience of physical violence - key initial findings from the United Nations Population Fund’s ongoing longitudinal study on adolescents and youth were presented today in the study’s first national dissemination forum.

The Longitudinal Cohort Study on the Filipino Child is a 15-year study that tracks the lives of a nationally representative sample (5,000) of Filipino children, along with their households and communities, which started in 2016 when they were 10 years old and will continue to follow them every year till 2030, the target year of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), when they become 24. The study is a partnership among the Philippine Government, the United Nations and other development partners that aims to shed light on a wide range of the changes, challenges and opportunities that young people in the country go through as they transition from adolescence into adulthood. 

UNFPA Philippines Country Office conceptualized and initiated the Cohort Study, with funding support from the Government of Australia and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  The Philippine Government too will contribute its financial resources to the study from next year onwards.

Now on its fourth year, the research has completed the first three waves of annual data collection, which has already generated key information on adolescents about their nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, education, life aspiration and living conditions.  The forum today was organized to disseminate major findings from the first two waves of the study, and participated by more than 80 including from key government departments, academia, civil society, youth leaders and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, in addition to the representatives of UNICEF and the Embassy of Australia.  The researchers shared study findings so far related to stunting, internet use, knowledge about sexual and reproductive health, impact of marginalization on the experience of bullying and violence and other aspects of the lives of 10- and 11-year-old children. 

“The Cohort Study plays an important role in the country’s efforts at ‘leaving no one behind’ in line with the Philippine government’s Ambisyon 2040 and the global Agenda 2030, by obtaining quality data and information about different needs and aspirations of young Filipinos with which to plan and implement differentiated programmes,” said Assistant Secretary of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Mr. Carlos Abad Santos, adding that stunting, quality education, and teenage pregnancy are among imminent issues to be tackled for the Filipino adolescents and youth.   Both Undersecretary of Population and Development and Executive Director of POPCOM, Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, and UNICEF Representative to the Philippines, Ms. Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, underscored the importance of integrating this unique and rich set of data annually gathered and analyzed through this Longitudinal Study into planning and monitoring of national programmes and projects for children in this youthful country, complementing other available studies and knowledge.

“The scope of this study is one of a kind even globally.  Any study and information is as good as it is actually utilized, and UNFPA is excited to work with the government, academia, and other partners in carrying this forward until 2030,” said Iori Kato, UNFPA Country Representative to the Philippines.  

Overseen by a steering committee chaired by NEDA, UNFPA’s Longitudinal Cohort Study has been carried out by a consortium of research institutes led by the Office of Population Studies Foundation (OPS) of the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. Members of the consortium include the Demographic Research and Development Foundation (DRDF) of the University of the Philippines Population Institute (for the Luzon domain), the Center for Social Research and Education (CSRE) of the University of San Carlos (for the Visayas domain), and the Research Institute for Mindanao Culture (RIMCU) of Xavier University (for the Mindanao domain).

The timeline of the Cohort Study is aligned with the duration of the SDGs from 2016 through 2030, and will provide inputs in the review of the present administration’s development programmes as well as in the formulation of the subsequent Philippines Development Plans.



Vicente B. Jurlano

Tel:  +63 917 8594263



Dr. Charl Andrew Bautista

Tel: +639770129632