MANILA, Philippines – The former legal officer of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on Monday sued the Department of Education for incorporating sex education in the curriculum of elementary and high school students.
In an interview, lawyer Jo Aurea Imbong said she filed the case in behalf of 30 concerned parents who opposed the sex education plan. She said the focus of the case is to stop DepEd from implementing Memorandum No. 26, which integrates sex education in the curriculum for private and public schools.
"We have examined the modules being used by DepEd and found that it promotes family planning, reproductive health and demographic development in subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English. It is specifically designed to transform the attitudes, behavior and social norms of young people based on a foreign model," she told abs-cbnNEWS.com.
Imbong said described the sex education program as "an assault on moral sensibilities and values of young people" and actually encourages sexual promiscuity. She said the program changes the attitudes and values of children especially in Christian families.
Imbong said sex education was already being implemented in the basic education curriculum 12 years ago, and the new DepEd memo only updates the modules.
She said adopting the sex education plan will fast-track moral decay among young people who are exposed to sex at an early age. "While curiosity is normal for young people, it is still the primary responsibility of the parents and families to inform their children about sex," she said.
Education Secretary Mona Valisno earlier said sex education classroom discussions this schoolyear will not be about the sex act but on the science of reproduction, physical care and hygiene, correct values and the norms of interpersonal relations to avoid premarital sex and teenage pregnancy.
She said the topics integrated into the modules will be scientific and informative and are not designed to titillate prurient interest.
In Science, sex education topics will cover the reproductive system, parts of the body, reproductive cycle, and puberty.
Under Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP), proper behavior among and between peers of different genders will be discussed.
In Health classes under MAPEH (Music, Arts, PE and Health), personal hygiene and reproductive health will be part of the lessons.
In Heograpiya, Kasaysayan, at Sibika (HEKASI) classes, discussion will include the position of religion on premarital sex and the norms when people of opposite sex interact.
Finally, in Math classes, data on issues like premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections will be used in studying mathematical analysis and statistics.
According to Valisno, psychologists were among those who helped prepare the modules "because we want to ensure that specific topics for discussions will be made in the appropriate year levels.”
Topics requiring a more mature audience will be discussed in the latter years in high school.