DepEd uneasy over planned condom distribution in schools
By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
December 12, 2016 at 1:32 am
The Department of Education (DepEd) is uneasy over the plan of the Department of Health (DOH) to distribute condoms in schools next year as part of its strategy to curb the rising cases of HIV and AIDS among young Filipinos.
The DepEd said that while it recognized the need to promptly address the spread of the disease among the youth, the agency would have to hold thorough and careful discussions with the DOH to determine whether such a move was appropriate to cover schools and learning institutions.
“And if not, what are the other measures that we can explore without compromising, first, the parents’ right and responsibility to educate their children against the dangers of engaging in pre-marital sex and second, the state’s mandate to protect minors from any form of abuse,” the DepEd said in a statement.
Before allowing the distribution of condoms in schools, the DepEd will also look into “how and why despite progressive mindset in other countries, this approach has not been implemented by all,” it said.
It also vowed to enrich sex education within the frameworks of human rights, safety and well-being of students through age-appropriate and developmental reproductive health education as early as Grade 1.
Pro-life groups and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines have also opposed the DOH plan, saying the government should instead focus on educating the youth than giving away condoms. They also feared that this strategy would condone sexual activities among students.
DOH data showed that there were 38,114 HIV/AIDS cases recorded from 1984 to October 2016.