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PIA Press Release

Lady solon defends sex education

Davao City (11 June) -- An ardent supporter and author of the stalled reproductive health bill in the House of Representatives, speaks up in defense of sexuality education in school. This comes amid premature attacks on the pilot testing program of sexuality education this year by the Department of Education.

Cong. Janette L. Garin, M.D. of the 1st District of Iloilo calls on the public to examine the rationale behind the sexuality education of the Department of Education (DepEd) instead of immediately attacking the said program.

According to Garin, millions of the Filipino youth are at risk for pregnancy, abortion, sexually-transmitted diseases, and other reproductive health problems every year. "Without intervention, these reproductive health problems as well as other risk behaviors can leave imprints for the rest of the lives of the youth," Garin stressed.

Garin cited Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Study (YAFSS) where it revealed that about one-fifth or 23 percent of the Filipino youth (15-24 years old) are reported to have had premarital sex experiences and that while abortion is illegal in the Philippines, an estimate of 400,000 abortions are still being performed every year. In a study of hospital cases of abortion complications, 36 percent of these cases belong to young women's group.

She further explained, "with sexuality education comes the full knowledge of the real dangers of early sexual initiation and induced abortion. The earlier the youth realizes the danger they are in, the better chances for prevention." Garin added, "sexuality education will minimize teenage and unplanned pregnancies and at the same time reduce the increasing number of abortion cases."

She explains, "an appropriate sexuality education program, that will provide our youth the necessary information needed to be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality; and critically evaluate the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions such as contraception and abortion, is one of the main features in our proposed reproductive health bill. It is unfortunate that it was not passed during the 14th Congress."

Garin remains positive that the reproductive health bill will finally see the light this coming 15th Congress. Meanwhile, Garin lauds DepEd Secretary Mona Valisno and Department of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral for their unwavering commitments in advancing programs that will guarantee better access of the public to reproductive health education and services. (PR/Ms. Ethel Mendiola) [top]

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