Sex Education not taboo in Philippine High Schools

Spotted is Mayor Isko Moreno, promoting sex education in Araullo High School, Manila, Philippines. Moreno is the current mayor of The Philippines’s capital, Manila.

Sex education should be compulsory

The Philippines, being a Catholic-dominated country, has its struggle in incorporating sex education into the curriculum. The Catholic Church is not open to teaching young ones about sexuality in class. The Church greatly opposes sex education but it didn’t stop the current government administration to impose it, except for some Catholic-run schools.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones expressed her interest in including a separate subject that will focus on reproductive health and sex education.

We are now into curriculum change and that can consider especially in junior and senior high school programs, says Briones.

Aside from a new curriculum, we also need to enrich and capacitate our teachers to openly discuss topics about sex education. It is still considered taboo for some, especially for a country with a conservative upbringing.

The rising number of teenage pregnancy

Department of Education issued a policy guideline in 2018 regarding the implementation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). The guideline is geared towards solving the rising incidences of teenage pregnancy, sexual harassment, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among young Filipinos.

DepEd Order no.31, series 2018 (DO 31), is the policy that aims to enhance the holistic wellness of teenage Filipinos and address their needs for health and protection through education.

The CSE is formulated to help students develop a critical mindset about circumstances that might put risks in their health, well-being, and dignity. It aims to reduce teenage pregnancy, issues in homosexuality, and other diseases acquired through unprotected sex. It will drastically reduce the drop-out rate in high school students.

Teaching sex education to high school students will help them decide for themselves on the consequences of their actions involving sexuality. The topic of sex education is not intended to promote sex among teens but to be able to provide the proper education to protect themselves if they are put in the situation.