Boost sexuality education to reduce teenage pregnancies
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian emphasized the need to strengthen sexuality education in the K-12 curriculum to sustain the gains of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, including the drop in teenage pregnancies.
“Bagama’t may nakikita tayong pagbaba sa bilang ng mga maagang pagbubuntis, kailangang masuri pa rin natin kung paano natin tinuturuan ang ating mga kabataang kababaihan na iwasang malagay sa sitwasyon ng pagiging mga batang ina,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
Gatchalian made the statement after Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire reported that the adolescent birth rate in the country is now at 25 per 1,000 women, which is lower than the 2022 target of 37 per 1,000 women.
But despite the drop, Gatchalian said the numbers of teenage pregnancy “remain high.”
“Mahalagang mapigilan natin ang paglobo ng mga bilang ng maagang pagbubuntis sa mga kabataan, lalo na’t ang mga batang ina ay madalas hindi nakakatapos ng kanilang edukasyon at napagkakaitan ng magandang kinabukasan,” Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian earlier filed Senate Resolution No.13, which seeks to assess the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) current policy on the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
Gatchalian noted that adolescent pregnancy is generally not the result of a deliberate choice, but “a consequence of having little or absence of access to school information, or sexual and reproductive health care.”
He said the UNFPA has declared that “there is a long delay in the integration and implementation of the CSE in the K to 12 Curriculum.”
”This delay is a significant missed opportunity to provide young people with non-judgmental and scientifically accurate and age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information that would curb the knowledge gap and provide life skills needed to make informed decisions related to risk behaviors with consequences to their health,” he said.