Wednesday June 2, 2010

Filipino Bishops: Sex Education Undermines Parents’ Role

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

MANILA, June 2, 2010 ( – The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) states that imposing lessons about sex on children as young as eleven by the school system is an attempt to wrest responsibility for bringing up children from parents.

The bishops of the Philippines have consistently opposed the introduction of sex-ed into the nation’s schools. In 2006 the Filipino government backed off from a sex education pilot project in two Manila school districts. This resulted from strong resistance by the Catholic Bishops, who objected that the introduction of sex education into the public schools would encourage teenagers to try premarital sex rather than remain abstinent, and emphasized that sex education is the parents’ responsibility, not the government’s.

In a press release Monday the bishops restated their opposition to the proposed implementation of the integrated sex education program for elementary and high school students this school year.

Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, CBCP Media Office director, stressed that the primary responsibility for raising children lies with parents and guardians, and that the education of children at school is subject to the principal of subsidiarity in which the education system must support the parents in their role of educating their children.

“The position of the CBCP even before (the proposed integrated sex education program) is that it (sex education) should be left to parents especially if we are talking about children who are underage,” Quitorio said at a forum in Manila.

He added that parents, not schools, know best when their children are ready to understand sexuality, and cautioned that sex education that focuses on the physical aspect instead of being about the moral values surrounding sexuality greatly concerns the church.

“Students should be taught of the proper sex education… not sexuality that is focused on the physical aspect of sexuality but as a sacred gift from God,” said Quitorio.

The CBCP press release reports that Department of Education Secretary Mona Valisno said implementation of sex education is important to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and avoid unwanted pregnancies.

“We will pursue with its implementation because we really need this,” Valisno said.

However, the Philippines have one of the lowest rates of STD infection in Asia.

Last year 629 new cases of AIDS (out of 88 million inhabitants) were registered in the Philippines, with about 9 thousand registered cases of HIV (0.01% of the population) and 308 deaths, according to an Asia News report.

Thailand, by comparison, where state and international associations such as Planned Parenthood have carried out massive sex education campaigns, has the highest percentage of HIV/AIDS in southeast Asia. In 2008, there were 610,000 adults and children living with HIV (1% of the population) and 31,000 AIDS related deaths.

In an earlier press release, Angelito Salazar, director of the Social Services Ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila, stated the Filipino bishops’ determination to continue to promote abstinence and conjugal faithfulness.

“The Church will continue to educate people about the sanctity and the value of human life,” Salazar said. “We will continue to educate people to be pro-life and promote Church-backed natural family planning (NFP) using Church doctrines and papal letters as well as our own sense of pastoral and moral responsibility.”

See related LSN articles:

Filipino Bishops: “Condoms and Irresponsible Sex Increases Spread of AIDS”

D&P Rep Admits Partner Pushes Contraception, Opposes Philippine Bishops

Phillipine Catholic Bishops Oppose Sex-Ed in Schools, Say it Should be Left to Parents

Philippines Scraps Sex Education in Schools After Catholic Opposition