Counsel the youth against pre-marital sex, bishop says

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Bishop Honesto Ongtioco

MANILA, Feb. 7, 2014— Church leaders must continue guiding and hold counseling services for the youth to avoid pre-marital sex, a Catholic bishop said.

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said it is a challenge for a church that knew it has more work to do for the youth.

The 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study has found that one in three Filipino youth aged 15 to 24 has engaged in pre-marital sex.

The figure increased by more than 14 percent from almost 20 years ago, according to the study by the University of the Philippines Population Institute.

“The results of the study should challenge us all the more to intensify the information of young people regarding real values that they should possess in their maturity process,” Ongtioco said.

Fr. Conegundo Garganta of the Church’s youth ministry explained that the number of teens engaging in various sexual activities is alarming.

The study translates to about 6.2 million youth that have engaged in sexual intercourse even before marriage.

“If their output came up with this finding, then it is alarming,” he said.

“It’s just very bad (to hear the news),” said Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon.

Bastes, however, claimed that the Reproductive Health (RH) law would only exacerbate the situation in the predominantly Catholic nation.

“This is the result of relativism and modernism. The RH law will worsen the immorality of the youth,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)

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