DOH and Church both want "responsible parenthood," but still don’t agree on sex ed

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Catholic Church, which have clashed over the government's sex education program for elementary and high school students, might just meet halfway on one point: responsible parenthood. The thing is, the two bodies don’t exactly define "responsible parenthood" the same way, reports

For Health Secretary Enrique Ona, it means couples having a more active role in family planning, while retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said it means couples following the "the natural biological composition of humans," as phrased it.

Ona told dzXL radio in Filipino, as reported by, "I believe we can reach a modus vivendi. There has to be a point where the church and the government can agree." In a separate interview, Cruz told dzXL in Filipino, "Both sides have to talk and not fight. If they talk, they have nothing to lose and much to gain." Cruz said he had had "very amiable" conversations with former Secretaries Mona Valisno (education) and Esperanza Cabral (health).

"DepEd Memorandum Number 261 Series 2005 covers the sex education program for grade school pupils (at least nine years old) and high school students," reports

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