Jamail Lunar Macla, Youth Coordinator of DTC, expressed that the local initiative of passing and approving the Local Development Plan for Children (LDPC) in the local legislative manifests the firmness of local leaders that reproductive health is more than moral issue and societal issue.
"LDPC lambasted the idea that reproductive health must not only be seen as moral issue but encompasses all issues of the society which includes economic, cultural, emotional, social and physical well-being of an individual." Macla said
"The society must note that LDPC doesn't only tackle reproductive health concerns but also the welfare and best interest of the child like his/her participation, survival, protection and development rights." Macla added.
Liezle Orcullo, President of DTC, claimed that despite of the influence of some notable sectors, before the presence of the LDPC, adolescent reproductive health issues are rampant and visible such as abortion, early sexual exposure, and other risky and irresponsible sexual behaviors, which concluded that previous framework, discouraging sex education in school curriculum, stigmatizing sex and gender in the community and being blind and deaf to youth's problem in RH, is not an effective strategy.
"We talked and discussed it with our members at the center and commonly they contended that stigmatizing and keeping the discussion of sex and gender behind the closets is not an effective strategy since it will just make misconceptions and misunderstandings among the youth." Orcullo claimed.
"Although it was seen in the statistics that media greatly influences the youth in terms of their actions, however, in the other hand, it is much more effective if their immediate groups, family, church and community, will provide accessible and available assistance and guidance through correct information and education to their sons and daughter for them to understand the reality." Orcullo added.
They both concluded that the discussion of sex and gender encompasses sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values and behaviors of individuals and also tackles various dimensions including anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system; identity, orientation, roles and personality and thoughts, feelings, and relationships which are influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural and moral concerns.
"RH is not only being moral but it is being human and humane to all citizenry where you let them choose to informed options based also on the availability and accessibility of correct information and education that was given by all stakeholders in the society, which includes media, family, peers, academe and church." Macla said.
"Reproductive Health is a reality, hence, it must be discussed objectively and healthily as a fact of life and in order to achieve reproductive health friendly community, the citizen, regardless of sex, gender, religion, race, age and etc., must embrace and understand the beauty of life and all things that God gave to us, including our reproductive health." Orcullo concluded.
JAMAIL LUNAR G. MACLA
Davao Teen Center