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Philippine bishops call for condom ad ban

Spokesman says TV ads 'are corrupting hearts and minds' reporter, Manila

February 13, 2014

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The head of the Philippine bishops' Commission on Family and Life has called on the media to stop airing condom ads on TV because it may "lead to greater promiscuity" among youths.

"These ads are corrupting the minds and hearts of our young people," Father Melvin Castro said in a radio interview on Wednesday, noting that the ads are being shown during "prime time" when children are watching television.

The priest said the advertisements are aired despite a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court on the implementation of the country's reproductive health law, which Church leaders oppose because it allows artificial contraception.

The Philippines Supreme Court is expected to announce a decision on the law in March.

The law, if implemented, will mandate the state to subsidize birth control for the poor.

"The mere fact that they are able to advertise things like that only goes to show that there’s no need for a law really to push their interests," Father Castro said.

A survey conducted by the Vatican recently showed that most Catholics follow Church doctrines except on contraception. Some 78 percent of the respondents expressed support for the use of contraceptives, survey results showed.

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa said some Filipinos are having a difficult time following Church doctrine on contraception.

"Just like the rest of the world ... several Filipinos know and believe in God's laws but they have a hard time following them," the prelate said.

Archbishop Arguelles also said the reported rise in premarital sex among Filipino youths is not a reason to justify the use of contraceptives.

"It is more reason to reinforce Christian values and form youths accordingly," he said.

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