The Department of Education (DepEd) has expressed apprehension over the plan of the Department of Health (DOH) to distribute condoms to high school students starting next year.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said the move could prematurely pique the curiosity of minors toward sex and lead to culture shock.
“Parang imbes na hindi niya alam e binubuksan mo ang kaisipan ng isang bata sa sensitibong paksa [Instead of the child remaining innocent, you are opening their minds to a sensitive subject],” Umali said.
The government is implying that there is nothing wrong with premarital sex as long as condoms are used, he added.
“Baka isipin ng bata dahil binigyan mo sya ng condom okay lang na gawin nya ‘yun [the child might think that premarital sex is okay just because you gave him a condom],” he said.
The DOH plans to distribute condoms in high schools starting next year as part of its “business unusual” strategy aimed at curbing rise of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome cases (AIDS) among the country’s youths.
The DOH will also urge parents to teach safe sex at home as part of the strategy.
DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial cited data showing that from 1984 to October 2016, a total of 38,114 HIV cases were recorded, with 32,099 tallied from 2011 to 2016.
A total of 10,279 HIV cases were recorded among persons aged 15 to 24 years old during the period, 9,066 of which were tallied since 2011.