By Merlina Malipot
In line with its efforts to curb the rising incidences of early pregnancy, sexual violence, and human-immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among young Filipinos, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Saturday announced that the comprehensive sexuality education will be further strengthened in the classrooms.
“The need to promptly arrest the surge in these cases is increasingly becoming urgent; the young generation is really at risk, that’s why it is imperative to enable them to develop into responsible adolescents capable of making rational decisions based on adequate information and better understanding of reproductive health,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Signed by Briones, DepEd issued the Policy Guidelines on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) to help develop responsible youth against rising risks.
The CSE, also known as DepEd Order No. 31, series 2018 (DO 31), aims to enhance the “holistic wellness of the Filipino adolescents and effectively address their needs for health and protection.”
Through education, DepEd hopes to ensure that all students will be “equipped with comprehensive information and appropriate life skills that can advance gender equality and empowerment, clarify their values and attitude, and reduce risks related to poor health outcomes – thereby enabling them to achieve their full potential.”
DepEd said that recognizing the roles and responsibilities of the school system to “provide learners their right to good health, the policy shall establish a common understanding of CSE key concepts and messages and ensure a clear implementation of CSE protocols in all public and private elementary, junior and senior high schools, learning centers for Special Education (SPED) and Alternative Learning System (ALS), and laboratory schools of state and local universities and colleges (SUCs/LUCs).”