Sotto on giving condoms: Crime to encourage sex among students
It would be a crime to encourage high school students to indulge in sex by giving them condoms despite an executive order (EO) intensifying access to modern family planning, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III warned on Thursday.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the EO last Monday implementing the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RPRH) amid a Supreme Court temporary restraining order (TRO) on some provisions of the law.
Sotto welcomed Duterte’s move, noting that the TRO was only on “abortifacients” and not on the law itself.
“(The) EO is fine. What I’m apprehensive about is the constant referral to the Supreme Court’s TRO as preventing implementation of the RH law. That is false! The TRO is only on abortifacients,” he said in a text message.
“The real problem is the poor implementation of the RH law in the last four years. There is no TRO on the RH law! Palusot (Excuses)!” he added.
In 2014, the high tribunal ruled that the RPRH was constitutional although it struck out certain provisions of the law. It also issued a TRO in connection with the government’s procurement, selling, distributing and promoting contraceptive implants.
Sotto explained that under the law, “condoms and contraceptives are allowed and available.”
Asked then if the EO would now justify the Department of Health’s plan to distribute condoms in schools starting this school year, the senator said: “No, (the) EO does not (justify the DOH’s plan).”
“Why? Because high school students are underaged and its a crime to [encourage them to] indulge in sex,” he said.
The senator has been opposing the planned distribution of condoms to students as he even warned Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial that she might not get the approval of the Commission on Appointments (CA) if she pushes through with the plan. RAM/rga
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