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PIA Press Release
2006/09/13

Educator: Sex education is not about promiscuity, it's about empowerment

Davao City (13 September) -- "Knowledge is power. I cannot agree more with the late Ernie Baron. But the Church, through the DepEd, has denied this basic right from our schoolchildren. It is an infringement of their basic right to know, as enshrined in our Constitution."

Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) Executive Director Ramon San Pascual could not help but be indignant. This, after the Department of Education (DepEd) halted the distribution of sex education materials in schools upon receiving criticisms from the Catholic Church and some conservative parents.

"How dare them deny our youth's right to information on their own health just so they can serve the interests of a few? That is wrong. To educate our children is to empower them, not to lead them to the path of promiscuity," San Pascual added.

PLCPD is a nonprofit, non-government organization with legislators from both chambers of Congress as members. They are in the forefront of pushing for the establishment of a national policy on reproductive health and population management through House Bill 3773. Otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act of 2005, it is now pending in the 13th Congress for second reading.

The bill, once fallaciously referred to as a two-child policy, essentially aims to ensure freedom of informed choice through free and full access to adequate and relevant information on reproductive health and a full range of family planning methods and devices excluding abortion.

It also aims to protect and promote gender equality and women's rights vis--vis reproductive health, and respect and protect adolescents and children's reproductive health rights. To achieve these, one of its propositions is an age-appropriate mandatory reproductive health and sexuality education.

"Unlike what most critics maliciously spread, the age-appropriate mandatory reproductive health and sexuality education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers. Far from being a haphazard attempt, the age-appropriate sex education will also integrate values aside from the facts," PLCPD's Executive Director clarified.

"We really hope the DepEd will have the courage and will to perform their duty to the people and not bend to the will of others," San Pascual added. (PLCPD/PIA-XI) [top]

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