Senate tackles inclusion of contraceptive use in teen curriculum

Senators discussed the possible inclusion of contraceptive use in the curriculum of adolescents during a plenary session last Tuesday as Senator files a bill aiming to institutionalize a national policy for addressing teenage in the country.

Hontiveros filed Senate Bill No. 1334 or the “Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy Act of 2020,” which categorized the population aged 10 to 21 years old as adolescents.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III asked Hontiveros whether the bill would include birth control use in the curriculum, and it would authorize contraceptives distribution in schools.

“Not necessarily because this is comprehensive sexuality education it does not speak specifically about the provision of family planning products so when we include here effective contraceptive use in comprehensive sexuality education, it’s teaching the adolescent students the range of family planning methods,” Hontiveros answered.

The senator said contraceptive use could be included in subjects like science or social studies.

Sotto then asked if such measures would not be taken as teaching “promiscuity” as teenagers would be knowledgeable about “effective contraceptive use” at their young age.

The Senate President also raised that many Christian schools are also unwilling to teach such topics in the classroom.

“It’s to debunk myths in order to enable couples, when they are of the proper age, not when they are still adolescents, to plan their family,” Hontiveros said.

Senate tackles inclusion of contraceptive use in curriculum

“It promotes abstinence as a positive choice, and it also teaches adolescents how to prevent and sexually transmitted infections should they engage in sexual activities,” she added.

When asked if her answer is yes or no concerning the distribution of contraceptives in schools, Hontiveros said no, explaining comprehensive sexual education deals with “the imparting of the content, not the distribution of the supplies.”

Earlier, Officials of the Commission on Population (PopCom) are surprised by the sudden increase in the number of  in Zamboanga City from April to June this year.

According to the “Unang Balita” report, the number reached 628, which is very high compared to 493 from January to March.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also warned in June that teenage  rate in the Philippines could spike amid the COVID-19 crisis.