Atienza: Teach climate change, not sex in schools

Manila, Philippines -- Instead of sex education, “climate change” education should be taught in private and public schools nationwide. This was the proposal made by Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, saying that loss of lives and the destruction wrought by super typhoon Yolanda should be a “wake up” call for the national government to focus on informing the youngsters about the impact of climate change. “Let us forget sex education in the [suspended implementation of] RH (Reproductive Health) Law. We have to focus on educating our young people about climate change,” he said. “Ang bibliya ng kalikasan ang ating ituro dahil magliligtas ng buhay,” he said. A stalwart of the House independent bloc who opposed the implementation of the RH law, Atienza said the Philippine government has “to accept that disasters with magnitude similar to Yolanda may happen again and again because of climate change.” “Nature is reacting too much on human abuses. We have to wake up and do something drastic to save lives and properties and minimize the impact of serious disasters,” he said. Atienza made the call on the day when the Supreme Court’s 120-day freeze order on the implementation of Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 or Republic Act (RA) No. 10354, or known as the Reproductive Health (RH) Law lapsed. The law provides for the mandatory teaching of sex education in public schools and giving the poor greater access to reproductive health services. Atienza said the government should start correcting the “wrong childhood days of majority of Filipinos” who grew old without being informed about the impacts of climate change. “Let us include climate change in the curriculum of all public and private schools,” he said. Meanwhile, Quezon City Rep. Winston “Winnie” Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, asked the Aquino government to appoint a credible point man who would orchestrate the government’s rehabilitation efforts. He said the disaster rehabilitation czar would not only exercise plenary powers, but also police powers to ensure the smooth delivery of relief aid, continued implementation of rehabilitation program and the restoration of peace and order in typhoon-stricken areas. “We have to accept that disasters and calamities – natural and man-made – are the new normal things in the modern world. But we could still manage to cope with their dreaded consequences and minimize the damage by employing some management skills,” Castelo said. “Rehabilitation efforts on typhoon-ravaged areas should be sustained in a frenetic pace,” he said.

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