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‘Proper sex education to curb teen pregnancy’

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
âProper sex education to curb teen pregnancyâ
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, issued the statement after President Duterte issued Executive Order 141, which declared the prevention of teenage pregnancies as a national priority.
John Moore / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and other concerned agencies to fill the gaps in the sexuality education of the youth to help stem the rise in teenage pregnancies in the country.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education, issued the statement after President Duterte issued Executive Order 141, which declared the prevention of teenage pregnancies as a national priority.

“Providing adequate and appropriate education is one of the most important steps to take so that the youth are not deprived of a bright future,” he said in a statement.

The senator stressed the need to address existing gaps in delivering comprehensive sexuality education, which is highlighted in the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 or Republic Act 10354. This law mandates the delivery of age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate reproductive health education.

The mandate is to capacitate minors on protecting one’s self from teenage pregnancy, sexual abuse, gender-based violence, and responsible teenage behavior, among others.

But despite the enactment of the law, the Commission on Population and Development (PopCom) reported that teenage pregnancies in the country continued to rise.

Gatchalian has repeatedly warned that lockdown measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a teenage pregnancy boom. PopCom said that in 2019, the number of Filipino minors who gave birth increased to 62,510 from 62,341 in 2018. The commission also reported that in 2019, 2,411 girls aged 10 to 14 gave birth, a three-fold increase from the 755 recorded in 2000.

PREGNANCY SEX EDUCATION
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