By Leslie Ann Aquino
The high number of teenage pregnancy in the country no longer surprised a Catholic priest.
Father Melvin Castro, former executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL), blamed the exposure of the young to contraceptive use.
He said this was because contraceptive use gives the young non-married, non-committed people the false sense of security that they could engage in intimacy without getting pregnant.
“We give them reason to be promiscuous,” said Castro in an interview.
“The more we expose the young to contraceptive use in the name of responsible sex, the more they are exposed to sexual intimacy outside of the context of morality, we should not be surprised with the steady high incidence of teenage pregnancy,” he added.
One way of addressing the problem, Castro said is to educate the young on the morals of sexual intimacy.
“Educate them of the morals of sexual intimacy, that it is within the context of marriage not before nor outside of marriage,” he said.
Earlier, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) raised concern anew over the early and unplanned pregnancies in the country with some 196,000 Filipinos between the ages of 15 and 19 years old getting pregnant each year.
Teenage pregnancy rate in the country actually already declined to 8.7 percent in 2017 from 10.2 percent in 2016, but POPCOM said the number remains high.