By Liwliwa Malabed
The Visayas leg of the National Consultative Workshops on RH and Sexuality Education was attended by more than 79 participants. Remarkably, 12% of the attendees (5 adolescents) represented the youth sector.
The program proceeded just like the workshops in Subic and Davao, starting with the statement of scope and objectives of the consultative workshop by Brayant Gonzales, FPOP National Youth Coordinator. This was followed by a discussion on the ASRH and SE Situation in the Philippines by NYC Asec. Percival Cendaňa. Dr. Carolina Guererro, director of DepEd-BALS, shared her experiences in implementing the ‘SE through Life Skills Learning Curriculum.’ Afterwards, the participants were grouped into formal, non-formal and informal sectors to come up with Visayas ASRH trends, which they reported at the plenary session.
It was noted that, aside from an increase in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, other alarming issues were the lack of adolescent friendly facilities, a rise in sex- and gender-based violence, and the increase in intravenous drug abuse among young people in Cebu.
On the second day, there was a briefer on the provisions of RH Law on Adolescent and Young People. Dr. Minerva Vinluan of DOH talked about Health Policy, RH and Sexuality Education. This was followed by presentations of the International and National frameworks on SE by Dr. Susan Gregorio of DOH, Lady Lisondra of FPOP, Dr. Socorro Gultiano of University of San Carlos, and Dean Evelina Vicencio of University of the East-Manila. The discussions were made livelier by creative games and engaging activities led by the presenters.
One of the hottest issues raised at the open forum was the allocation of a Gender and Development (GAD) budget for the LGBT community. In the afternoon session, sexuality education programs were presented at the Marketplace by BROOD, CEBUPLUS INC, PLAN INTL, and WARAYA. The participants engaged the presenters of SE programs by asking questions and offering suggestions. After reporting the results of the Marketplace workshop in the plenary session, once again, participants broke up into groups. This time, they discussed recommendations for the framework for RH and Sexuality Education. Their outputs were presented on the third and last day of the consultative workshop.
After the workshop synthesis by the main facilitators and video presentation by Mulat Pinoy, the Visayas leg of NCWRHSE was closed by statements and testimonies from the youngest delegates.
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