A new bill that could be a game changer in the battle against teen pregnancies in the Philippines is inching through Congress with activists hoping it could galvanize a wider campaign to tackle this "national social emergency."

The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Bill, which was passed by the House in September and has now moved to the Senate, aims to expand access to sexual and reproductive health services, like contraception, in a mainly Catholic country where early pregnancies, even among girls as young as 10, are rife and where the age of consent was only raised from 12 to 16 last year.

The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development, one of the groups campaigning for the bill, said it was only two steps away from a vote in the Senate.