MANILA - The Department of Health is planning to distribute condoms to schools in a bid to strengthen its sexual education drive.
DOH spokesperson, Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said the move comes amid an increase in the number of younger Filipinos infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in recent years.
He said the campaign is targeted at public school students, specifically those who are already in secondary level. The teaching of sex education is meanwhile targeted at students between the ages of 15 to 24.
"Abstinence pa rin, itinuturo yun. Kung di mapigilan, safer sex at dapat available yung condom," he said.
(It should still be about abstinence, we teach that. However, if it cannot be stopped, safer sex and condoms should be available.)
A big number of people living with HIV these days come from the NCR, Central Luzon, and Cebu, he said.
"Kung mabibigyan (ng condom) dapat naka-attend ng sexuality education... sa magulang, kayo po ay dapat maging bukas. Inuwi ng bata, pinagalitan nyo pa. Pag dinala nila yung condom na nakuha nila, ipaliwanag ninyo na tama yan, pero yan ay ginagamit pang-proteksyon," he said.
(If they will be given condoms, they should have attended sexuality education. To the parents, please be open-minded. The child brings a condom home and you scold them. If they bring home the condom that they got, explain it to them properly that it is used for protection.)
The DOH also urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to include in its curriculum an intensified sexual education to protect the youth.
Aside from the introduction of the reproductive system, public school students will be also taught about HIV-AIDS, the risks of getting it and the ways to protect themselves from it, like practicing safe sex through proper protection like the use of condom.
The DOH is also appealing to private schools to teach sexuality education to their students.