DepEd says: "No condom distribution in schools"
According to the Department of Education, they will not allow the DOH to distribute condoms in schools.
The Department of Education (DepEd) has blocked the Department of Health's (DOH) initiative to distribute free condoms in schools.
According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, the DepEd cannot support the DOH's plan of preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS by distributing condoms with contraceptives.
She said that the students, who are minors, would still need parental consent if they wished to use these contraceptives.
However, she adds that they will improve the sex education that is being taught to students throughout the country with age-appropriate education that will start with students from Grade 1.
"The parents can relax… there will be no condom distribution in schools," she adds.
Late last year, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said that the DOH will be distributing around 9 million condoms to schools and health centers throughout the archipelago.
This statement came despite the strong opposition from numerous groups, including the Catholic Church, who are against artificial forms of contraception.
The DOH is planning to target students who are aged 15-24 in the condom distribution program. They added that they will be working with DepEd in order to create guidelines regarding the distribution of contraceptives to schools. However, with the recent statement from DepEd, the initiative might possibly not push through.
Talking to children about sex isn't as straightforward as it seems, especially since the Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, and a lot of people have reservations, or are even embarrassed to talk about sex, especially when talking to their kids.
These days however, with the ease of access to information on the internet, and with today's society being more and more sexualized, it's very important for parents today to talk openly and with maturity about sex. Here are some things to keep in mind when talking to your kids about sex:
- Explain that sex happens between two consenting partners who love each other. It's important to acknowledge the role that love plays when it comes to sex, especially for teens who can have strong feelings towards the opposite sex.
- Be the first to educate your kids. You would not want your kids to learn about sex through the internet, or through media, since they might give your child ideas of sex that aren't accurate, or might confuse them.
- Don't always tell them no. Teenagers are usually at the point in their lives where they like to rebel against their parents. Constantly telling them no might make them feel that you're restricting them. Instead, explain the consequences of irresponsible sex, and impact that a bad decision can have on their lives.
- Be factual. Don't give your child myths or rumors and pass them off as facts.
- Share your own thoughts. Each parent can have different philosophies and beliefs when it comes to sex. That's why it's important to your kids about sex and say it in a way that fits your personal beliefs. If you're against contraceptives, talk to them about abstinence; likewise, if you're more liberal, you can tell your kids that should they have sex in the future, it would be best to use a condom to avoid getting pregnant, and to avoid acquiring disease.
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