Philippine Daily Inquirer

Luistro to discuss sex education with bishops today

- By Dona Pazzibugan

EDUCATION Secretary Armin Luistro will sit down today with the country’s influentia­l Catholic bishops to discuss their opposition to the introducti­on of sex education in public and private schools.

Luistro, a Catholic Lasallian brother and former president of De La Salle University, is expected to be at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippine­s (CBCP) plenary assembly being held at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila at 2 p.m.

CBCP secretary general Msgr. Juanito Figura said it was Luistro who initiated the meeting with the bishops, themost vocal critics of themove to include sex education in the curriculum for grade school and high school students.

The CBCP began its two-day regular plenary assembly on July 10.

According to Figura, 92 out of the 133 member-bishops are attending the plenary, including Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, the current CBCP president.

Of its 133 members, 98 are active while 33 are retired.

On Friday, in his first news conference, Luistro said he was holding out on his decision on the sex education program until he had met with the different interest groups, including the religious.

He said he found opposing parties had “different definition­s” of sex education.

“When I talk to one group, they raise their position. Then another group will give us their position and their definition of sex education is totally opposite. That’s the biggest problem … The best way to solve that is to bring these peo- ple together,” he said.

But he stressed that his priority in the next two years was how to address the shortage of classrooms and teachers.

The Department of Education claims its sex education modules focus on adolescenc­e, health, wellness, values and character developmen­t for students. The modules reportedly also include the human reproducti­ve system, parts of the body, the reproducti­ve cycle and puberty.

The Catholic Church and its lay groups have vehemently opposed teaching sex topics such as birth control in schools, saying the teaching should be left to the parents.

San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, who heads the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Family and Life, had said that the government should merely “assist” the parents since the latter have the “original and primary” role of teaching their children “confidenti­al and privatemat­ters.”

Figura said the Reproducti­ve Health bill in Congress will also be discussed on Sunday with lawyer Jo Imbong and Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez as resource speakers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines