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PRESS RELEASE 10 February 2014 NYC: Results of Youth Sex Study Very Alarming Calls for Urgent Interventions "We are in a crisis situation and so much is at stake." This was the reaction of National Youth Commission (NYC) to the results of the latest nation-wide Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFS 4). "The spike in unprotected early sexual encounter and teen pregnancy has reached a very alarming point. Immediate and aggressive measures must be taken to address the worsening situation," NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña said. According to YAFS 4, the incidence of sex before marriage or early sexual encounter among Filipino youth increased from 23% in 2002 to 32% in the 2013, 78% of which were unprotected. Also from the same study, within this past decade, teenage pregnancy among 15-19 years old girls more than doubled from 6% to 14%. Commissioner Cendaña, however, cautioned the public from demonizing the youth because of their risky behaviors. "Huwag naman sanang sisihin na lang lagi ang mga kabataan para sa nangyayari sa kanila. Hindi ito tama at mas lalong hindi ito nakakatulong. It would be dangerously simplistic to just blame the youth for their behavior without taking into consideration the changing culture, environment, social conditions and context they are in. Their behavior is a product of many factors and understanding these factors without the usual derogatory judgment is key to finding solutions." The NYC stressed the need for new approaches and solutions. Commissioner Cendaña complains about the lack of information and education on sex and sexuality that are available to the youth. "This is a Catch 22 situation. Society wants the youth to be responsible with their behavior yet a conservative majority still refuses to discuss sex with young people. It is not being discussed at home and at school as parents and teachers are still uncomfortable to talk about it until it's too late. Hindi pwedeng puro 'masama yan' na lang lagi sasabihin sa kabatan. Dapat ito pag-usapan. Kung hindi ito pag-uusapan, paano naman nila malalaman kung paano alagaan ang sarili nila?" As the convenor of an inter-agency group on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), the NYC is advocating for ASRH education. "Changing the risky behavior of the youth requires education. Values education is important but it is not enough. This we have seen in the past decade. There is an urgent need for scientific, accurate, ageappropriate and culturally-sensitive ASRH education to complement values education and encourage more responsible behavior among youth." Amidst what may be considered as grim findings of YAFS 4, Commissioner Cendaña calls on the public to trust young people. "Magtiwala tayo sa kabataan, magtiwala tayo sa kanilang kakayanan na gumawa ng tamang desisyon. Young people are capable of making the right decisions if we provide them the knowledge and education. In this case, it is ASRH education." # Contact: Ernest Lucas, Office of NYC Commissioner Perci Cendaña 09088671894

Nyc results of youth sex study very alarming call for urgent interventions  
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