UPPI leads nationwide study on Pinoy youth
Today’s youth are one of the biggest and most dynamic sectors of Philippine society. About one in every five Filipinos is aged 15 to 24, which are critical years for shaping personhood and making important, lasting decisions on various aspects of life. While youth is supposedly an exciting and hopeful time, many young adult Filipinos face a myriad of challenges, including those involving their immediate environments, physical and mental health, relationship-building, and reproductive health.
While youth is supposedly an exciting and hopeful time, many young adult Filipinos face a myriad of challenges. An up-to-date knowledge base on this age sector is vital for improving their health and well-being. | Photo by Shernielyn Dela Cruz (© Shernielyn Dela Cruz 2021)
An up-to-date knowledge base on young adults is vital to improving their health and well-being, which have far-reaching consequences not only to the economy but also to their families and communities. It is in this light that the University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) conducts the 2021 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS5), the fifth in the series of YAFS surveys.
Conducted since 1982 by the UPPI and the Demographic Research and Development Foundation, Inc., the YAFS series prides itself as the Philippines’ largest series of nationally and regionally representative, cross-sectional surveys on the 15-24 age group. It has provided comprehensive and timely information on Filipino adolescents and young adults, specifically on issues related to sexuality, fertility, reproductive health, education, and employment aspirations and trajectories, health and lifestyle, media use, mental health, as well as their attitudes on marriage, family formation, and norms, among others.
This year’s YAFS is different in many ways. The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic figures prominently in contextualizing the lived experiences and aspirations of Filipino youth. While the core questions on sexuality, fertility, and reproductive health remain, YAFS5 explores new themes and issues that define this generation of young people. These include more pervading and interactive forms of media, evolving understanding of gender and sexuality, and new forms of relationships and intimacies.
Over the years, the data and findings from YAFS have been used as bases in the formulation of programs and policies of agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM). The YAFS5 is being funded by the DOH and particularly aims to inform the department’s Adolescent and Health Development Program.
Preparations have been underway for the YAFS5, with the data collection expected to begin in July this year. Local governments and the public are enjoined to support the conduct of this study.