MANILA, Feb. 1, 2017 – As the Department of Education (DepEd) finalized its decision to buck condom distribution in high schools in the country, pro-lifers are all too happy with the development, calling it a “wise” move.
“It was a wise move. The Department of Education saw the impracticality of such a strategy,” said executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), Fr. Jerome Secillano, MPA.
For the priest, the Department of Health (DOH)’s initiative to widen condom access by making it directly available to students is “a waste of public funds.”
“Students will simply play with it (the condoms),” he added.
In an interview, chancellor and Secretary to the Bishop of Tarlac Fr. Melvin Castro said he was “happy, if not elated” over the recent development, saying the government can now implement methods that will actually address the HIV issue.
“Common sense and rational thought demand that we address the issue of teenage pregnancy and HIV-AIDS rise with proper values education and not with condom use,” he said.
For Pro-Life Philippines president Eric Manalang, DepEd’s judgment on the health department’s program is a possible acknowledgment that the HIV issue is not merely a public health one.
“It’s recognizing that our problem in schools is moral and DOH has no business teaching and leading young adults to more immorality,” said Manalang, noting that the DOH should have a more focused approach to addressing the rising HIV cases because of MSM (males who have sex with males).
According to DOH, as of March 2016, 86 per cent of HIV infections were among MSM. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)