Sex ed won't curb teen pregnancies: bishop

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jul 09 2013 11:17 AM | Updated as of Jul 09 2013 10:40 PM

MANILA – A Filipino Catholic bishop believes sex education is not the answer to the rising number of teen pregnancies in the country.

Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, chairman of Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' (CBCP) Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, said the rise in the number of teenage pregnancies is a result of the degradation of moral quality among today's youth.

Iñiguez said sex education, contrary to the the belief of advocates of the Reproductive Health Act, is not the answer in stemming the tide of teenage pregnancies in the Philippines.

"Itong malungkot na sitwasyon nitong nangyayari sa atin mga teenagers ay resulta nitong pagbaba ng moral quality natin, itong pagpapadala natin sa kaisipang materialistic," Iñiguez told dzMM.

"Itong RH bill, sa pananaw ng Catholic Church ay 'di solution para sa problema nating ito tungkol sa ating mga teenagers. On the contrary, itong RH act, ay maaaring maka-encourage pa doon sa pagpapatuloy nitong malungkot na sitwasyon," he added.

According to the National Statistics Office (NSO), the number of females aged 15 below who got pregnant rose to 1,324 in 2010 from 755 in 200.

National Youth Commission (NYC) commissioner Percival Cendaña, meanwhile, attributed the rise in teenage pregnancies - and consequently, maternal deaths - to the lack of information being given to the youth when it comes to sex.

"Kapag bingyan ng tamang impormasyon ang mga kabataan, mas makakagawa sila ng tamang desisyon. Kasi ang mga desisyion na ito, di nila tayo katabi kapag ginawa nila ang mga desisyon na ito. Sa kanila manggagaling kapag ginawa nila ang mga life-changing decisions na ito," Cendaña told dzMM.

Cendaña also noted that today's communication technologies have made it easier for the youth to engage in promiscuous activities.

"Iyung utak, isip natin ang magbibigay sa atin ng guidance. Sana maibigay ang impormasyon na iyan sa kabataan. Ngayon ang sources ng information eh mga kabarkada, online, na hindi laging tama o scientific. Kapag nakuha nila, iyon kinakalat pa nila sa kabataan," he said.