NOW, it looks like the Philippines, is on the way to curbing the rising incidence of teen pregnancies not only in the metropolis but elsewhere.
This, after Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who started the country’s road clearing operations, launched last Monday the “fertility awareness lectures” at the Araullo High School in Manila.
Moreno said the program calls for the teaching of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in all public high schools in the city, the first not only in Manila but throughout the Philippines.
“This would be the first time in the country that this will be regularly taught to our high school students as part of the curriculum,” said Moreno, a former scavenger from Tondo, Manila.
While the CSE is embodied under the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law, such has not been regularly taught in high school.
The launching ceremony was orchestrated by the Family Planning Division, chaired by Dr. Criselda Coroza, with Sandy Araneta, Marivic Bagallon and Imelda de Vera as members.
With the teaching of CSE in all public secondary schools in Manila, the subject will be integrated in the school curriculum.
Records show that the Philippines, the only Christian country in this part of the world, has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Of the 17 million births in 2009, over 11 percent involved teen mothers. About one-third of all pregnancies in the Philippines occur between the ages of 15 and 24. The youngest was 12 years old.
As a one-time scavenger, the young but very talented city executive knows the value of education, pointing out that poverty should never be a hindrance to getting a college diploma.
Of course, we share the view of Moreno that youngsters should not jump into marriage right after college. Instead, he said, graduates should first help their parents before starting a family.