Incidents of teenage pregnancies are higher in urban poor communities in the Philippines. (Photo by Angie de Silva)
The Philippines' National Youth Commission called on church leaders to play an active role in the government's campaign against teenage pregnancy.
Marilou Chua, head of social marketing of the commission, said teenage pregnancy has become the "most serious challenge" being faced by young Filipinos.
One factor that contributes to the growing problem is the failure of adults to guide the youth, said Chua.
"[Teenagers] often go to their fellow youth to seek advice. Most times, these young people are being led in the wrong direction," she said.
James de Vera, executive director of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organization Awards Foundation, said youth formation programs of the church continues to be "relevant."
He said the church is "one sector that can best influence our youth nowadays," adding that many recipients of his group's awards are school-based Catholic groups.
Teen pregnancy among young people in the Philippines aged 15 to 19 years old are on the upswing with a record 209,872 cases in 2014.
In 2011, there were 203,653 reported cases, equivalent to an increase of 6,219 in only three years.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.