Private schools alarmed by DOH condom plan
(The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - An association of private schools expressed alarm yesterday over the plan of the Department of Health (DOH) to distribute condoms in schools as part of the government’s efforts to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS among the youth.

Eleazardo Kasilag, president of the Federation of Associations of Private Schools and Administrators (FAPSA), said the move might create curiosity among school children about sex.

Kasilag said the recent statement of Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial implied that most of the new HIV/AIDS cases came from schools.

“What do you take the school for, a motel?” Kasilag said.

He said distributing condoms in schools would only promote promiscuity.

“The government cannot give books so they will just give condoms? This is no longer about health but moral values,” Kasilag said.

Ubial earlier said the DOH would work with the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement the program on a pilot-test basis.

Ubial said results of recent studies showed that Filipinos are increasingly engaging in sex at a very young age.

The youngest recorded HIV patient in the country is 11 years old, she said.

The DOH said 355 cases were recorded by the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines from July to October. Of the number, 122 are adolescents aged 10 to 19 years old. It said 120 adolescents acquired HIV through sexual contact.

Ubial said the DOH was not encouraging the youth to use condom but are only distributing it for their protection.

Meanwhile, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) said condoms should not be accessible to the youth.

CBCP Episcopal Commission on Mission chairman and Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said that aside from educating the people not to engage in casual sex, the government should stop convenience stores from selling condoms.

“Condoms should not be available over the counter,” Bastes said.

The CBCP opposed the plan of the DOH to distribute condoms in schools to prevent HIV/AIDS.

The availability of condoms and contraceptives in stores promotes immoral and premarital sex, the CBCP official said.

“Sex is sacred and should only be between married couples,” Bastes said.

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