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Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno

Manila to offer fertility lectures in schools

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Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso endorsed fertility awareness lectures in the city’s public high schools, part of the effort to curb the rise of teen pregnancies.

Domagoso launched on Tuesday the School-Based Health Information Dissemination on Fertility Awareness and Sexually-Transmitted Infections at Araullo High School.

Organized by the city’s Family Planning Division, led by Dr. Criselda Coroza, the teaching of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in public schools is embodied under the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law, approved by Congress in 2012.

“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. So, we will take the lead,” the mayor said.

“With the teaching of CSE to high school students in all public schools in Manila, the subject will be integrated in the school curriculum. This was already approved by DepEd (Department of Education) Manila, and we believe it would be better to start early for our students to learn about sexuality and fertility awareness,” he added.

The mayor warned youngsters of the consequences of engaging in early sex, especially if they have yet to finish their studies.

A product of poverty himself, Domagoso stressed the value of education in order to have a better future, pointing out that poverty should never be a hindrance to getting a diploma, citing his own case.

“You might lack the time or might even have no more time to do this if you get pregnant — that’s for the young girls — or if you impregnated your girlfriend — that’s for the young boys. So, this early, we will be teaching our young students CSE to avoid teen pregnancy,” he said.

The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) said the Philippines has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the ASEAN region, as it indicated that teen pregnancy spiked by 70 percent between 1999 to 2009. 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, and one of the youngest pregnant girls recorded in Manila was just 12 years old.

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