CATHOLIC church officials strongly opposed the government’s “safe sex” campaign in schools, saying the students should be given knowledge, not condoms.
Fr. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the bishops’ public affairs committee, said the campaign as nothing but a “waste” of taxpayers’ money.
“Distributing condoms will only condone sexual activity among students,” said Secillano, who is also the parish priest of the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in the city’s Sampaloc district.
The Health department plans to distribute condoms in public high schools, supposedly to address the increasing number of HIV cases among the youth in recent years.
Health authorities have also expressed concern over the increasing number of teenage pregnancies, and are considering sex education for students between the ages of 15 to 24.
Secillano recognized there is a need to address the problem but urged the government to use a cultural and values-based approach for HIV/AIDS prevention.
“The government should invest more in educating people about the perils of ‘sporadic sexual activity’ than procuring and distributing condoms,” stressed the priest.
For his part, Fr. Conegundo Garganta of the CBCP’s youth ministry said thorough discussion is needed on whether or not condoms should be distributed in schools.
“The Church has to continue with its mandate to educate and form people about the dignity of every person and continue to promote understanding [of] the Theology of the Body,” he said, mentioning a series of teachings of St. John Paul II on human love, what it means to be human, sex, and marriage.