MANILA, July 1, 2011?Lessons on character-building instead of classes about sexual activityâ€”thatâ€™s what teens need and what will minimize the incidence of teen pregnancy, said Zambales Representative Ma. Milagros â€œMitosâ€ Magsaysay in a recent forum that tackled the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
â€œWhat is needed especially in the public schools is values formationâ€¦good manners and right conduct. Dapat turuan ng DepEd, ng CHEd at ng TESDA na kinakailangang pahalagahan ng babae at lalaki ang kanilang pagkatao, without touching on the relationship between the boy and the girl,â€ Magsaysay said.
â€œOnce you teach the boy or the girl how to put value in oneself, then I think you don’t have to go to the extent of teaching them how to do the sexual act. Kaya para sa akin, by teaching sex education in the schools you are not solving the problem of teenage pregnancy,â€ she added.
The solon explained that proper values formationâ€”which she was fortunate to have been taughtâ€”referred to valuing oneâ€™s worth as a human being, including looking to the future in the context of life ambitions.
â€œWe were taught how to put confidence in yourself, putting value on how you are as a person, what you want to be later on. The school and the parents taught goal-setting in life, how you ought to conduct yourself, that you should be decent in thought, in words and in deed,â€ Magsaysay related.
â€œKung babae ka, [tinuturo na] dapat maging disente ka. Kung lalaki ka, dapat igalang mo din ang pagkababae ng mga babae. So that is what I want [to be taught] rather than sex education.â€
The lawmaker added that the reproductive cycle is part of school curricula and it is already being taught in science subjects.
â€œItinuturo ang reproductive cycle ng babae at ng lalaki, without touching on the [sexual] relationship between the boy and the girl. You donâ€™t have to include that,â€ Magsaysay said.
The RH bill, or the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011, continues to face growing opposition from child development experts, family advocates, faith-based organizations and civil groups due partly to its six-year mandatory sex education program for all private and public school students from Grade 5 to 4th Year high school nationwide.
Also included in the bill, which is proposing a P3 billion annual budget for its implementation, is taxpayer-funded procurement and distribution of the â€œfull rangeâ€ of birth control supplies. (Diana Uichanco)