Senator Gatchalian: Lack of RH education fill; teenage pregnancy in the midst of the pandemic.

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March 1 2019 Maternity Leave- Pregnant women and mothers celebrate the passage of the 105 days of EML (Expanded Maternity Leave) law at the Bonifacio shrine on friday, and called for it's immediate implementation. INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
Despite the Republic Act 10354 or Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (RPRH Law) which mandates appropriate reproductive health education emerged in a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) last March that there are faults in the government health education program such as having adequate teacher training and learning materials for teaching.
According to Senator Win Gatchalian that the Department of Education (DepEd) must focus on the deficiency in reproductive health education especially as the number of young mothers in the country is feared to increase due to the lockdown resulting from the pandemic.

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) recently reported that there were 2,422 babies in the Cordillera born to teenage parents in 2020, up 46.43 percent from 1,654 recorded in 2019. According to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, the number of young mothers aged 15 and below nationwide increased by 7 percent in 2019 compared to 2018.

DepEd had just issued a Department Order (DO) 31 s. 2018 to guide the implementation of sexuality education. But according to the PIDS study, it appears that there is still a shortage of manpower, facilities, training, instructional materials, communication, and monitoring systems.

“We must intensify addressing these shortcomings, especially since the increase in the number of young mothers is one of the effects of the pandemic,” said Gatchalian.

In the focus group discussions (FGD) conducted by PIDS with the teachers, it appears that the pieces of training conducted related to sexuality education are not enough. Although DepEd complies with most of the provisions of the law, PIDS said in its study that the program needs to step up to implement the RPRH Law.

“Although it has been several years since we enacted the Reproductive Health Law and DepEd had a policy on Comprehensive Sexuality Education or CSE, we still see shortcomings such as adequate teacher training and learning materials. to make CSE teaching more effective in our schools, ”said the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture.

BY KHALID MANGONDATO

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