The cross section of this deeply religious province is largely against the move to distribute condoms to high school students as part of the education campaign to prevent being contaminated with sexually transmitted diseases.
Meanwhile, a random radio survey conducted by DYRD’s top-ratedÂ “Radyo Merkado” yesterday 100% of the respondents strongly criticized the move citing the “sense of immorality” behind the distribution of condoms to high school students.
“Giving condom to a youth is seemingly like inviting him to use it,” one caller said. Bishop Patrick Daniel Parcon of the Diocese of Talibon denounced such move in a strongly worded message he relayed to the Chronicle yesterday.
The move of the Department of Health is “disturbing and alarming.” Bishop Parcon categorically said the church is against such move citing that this is now one of the offshoots of the Reproductive Health law that we are fighting against.
“Will they allow it?,” referring to parents as he asked them to be in the frontline of this raging controversial move of the government.
Distributing condoms is like “allowing our young to engage in premarital sex through irresponsible distribution of contraceptives like condoms,” the bishop said.
“This is a wrong solution to a problem,” the church leader blasted as he criticized the rationale on why this has to be done to the youth.Â
“We have become too pragmatic in dealing with problems that there is no sense of morality,” he concluded.
For his part, incoming head of the Diocese of Tagbilaran, Bishop Albert Uy joined the oppositors saying “we will be sending a wrong signal -like itâ€™s okay to have sex, whether married or not, young or adult, as long as you use condom. He cited the experience in other countries, the promotion of condom use failed to stop teenage pregnancy and even spread of AIDS.
For Jun and Sally Rasonabe, head of the Family Life Apostolate, “the move is the work of the devil.”
The mounting criticisms came even as the DepEd Bohol Supt. Bongalos said there is no official order yet to distribute the condoms to public high schools.
When asked to comment, Gov. Edgar Chatto told theÂ ChronicleÂ that DepEd should instead strengthen values education to curb pre marital sex. The move could send the wrong signal to their yound minds that society is tolerating or encouraging promiscuity. The stand of the province will be relayed to both DOH and Deped in Manila.
Catholic renewal movements are likewise sounding off their strong objection on the DOH move.
The Couples For Christ (CFC) is one with the Church against the move while maintaining its pro-life stand, according to Bro. Amit Yu, CFC provincial area director.
For his part, Bro. Al Uy, national trustee of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Pr5fessionals (BCBP) denounced the distribution of condoms since it will give the young the impression it is a normal norm to have sex as long as they use condom.Â
AGAINST THE MOVE
Provincal Board Member Jade Acapulco-Bautista (3rdÂ dist) led provincial lawmakers in expressing strong objection on the thrust of Department of Health (DOH) to dispense free condoms in public schools starting next year that sparked an uproar from the church and other sectors here.
But she stressed sex education for the young and not providing them with free condoms is still proper thing to do.
She added that having free condoms courtesy of DOH â€œis a sexual statement of approval for them to engage in sexual calisthenics no matter how it will be consummated for as long as the girl wears a smile and the boy wears a condom.â€
â€œI therefore call all concerned education stakeholders, the parents, and the teachers to strengthen their resolve to help in the dissemination of proper sex education,â€ Bautista, who chairs the health committee, voiced her objection in her privilege speech during the regular session yesterday presided over by Vice-Gov. Atty. Dionisio Balite.
To support her objection to such move in curbing the spread of HIV/Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Bautista agreed with Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippinesâ€™ stance that condom distribution in schools is tantamount â€œto condoning sexual activities among the students.â€
She said CBCP instead call on the government to give emphasis on educating the people rather than doing condom-giving spree. â€œThis representation as health chair and wellness professional is standing strongly against the DOHâ€™s move to distribute condoms to the students.â€
Such plan in preventing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) â€œopens the way for martial infidelity among couples, unwanted pregnancy, pre-marital sex among single ladies and lowering of moral standards of all,â€ Baustista said.
Bautista disagreed with DOHâ€™s contention that it is not encouraging the youths to use condoms, but for their safekeeping and â€œshould be used only during emergency.â€
What sexual emergency? What if everyday is sexual emergency for the young, she asked.
She told her colleagues that young people, especially those in puberty, are getting conscious of their sexual being and that sexual experimentation is not a far-fetched thing to happen for them.
She said that education is still the best weapon against every battle in this world and never the condom dissemination that will lead to a life of promiscuity among the young.
She concluded her speech by proposing for a Resolution urging DOH, thru Secretary Paulyn Ubial, to defer the condom distribution next year, which the body approved.