Senate to review reproductive health education policy amid rise in teen pregnancies, HIV infections

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A LAWMAKER has filed a resolution that calls for a Senate panel assessment of the Philippine’s reproductive health education policy in view of the rising number of teenage pregnancies and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among the youth. 

Senate Resolution 13 will review the scope and effectiveness of the existing sexuality education policy, which mandates that age and development-appropriate reproductive health lessons be taught in basic education institutions.   

“Children who become mothers are deprived of the opportunity to study and have a good future,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chair of the basic education committee, said in Filipino in a statement on Tuesday. 

“In the midst of the alarming number of children 10 to 14 years old becoming mothers, it is timely that we carefully examine whether the policy of our schools is effective in implementing comprehensive sexuality education,” he added. 

Citing information from the Commission on Population and Development, Mr. Gatchalian said that 2,113 births were recorded from minors aged 10 to 14 in 2020.   

Data from the Department of Health, on the other hand, showed that 2,354 girls in the same age group gave birth in 2020, while 2,299 gave birth in 2021.  

The United Nations Population Fund has flagged the long delay in the integration and implementation of sex education in the Philippine’s K to 12 curriculum. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan