DOH chief dares condom distribution critics to give better ideas on how to reduce sexually transmitted infections

Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial dared condom distribution critics to give better ideas on how to reduce sexually transmitted infections. “To those who oppose, if you have better ideas in reducing STI (sexually transmitted infections) among the youth, then let’s hear it. Give us your options,” Ubial said. Earlier, the health department expressed alarm over the increasing number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the Philippines; revealing its plan to use the “business unusual” strategy which includes giving out condoms in schools. The aforementioned plan got a lot of criticisms, especially on social media. Ubial, on the other hand, explained that the DOH does not intend to give people the impression that it is okay to have premarital sex.

“The idea is not to distribute it left and right to give an impression that it’s okay to have premarital sex as long as you use condom. We want to promote any strategy that will promote health, protect our people from disease and ensure the enjoyment of their rights and freedom under the constitution. As long as it is scientifically effective and safe, it’s legally acceptable, not abortifacient according to individual concerns and informed choice, we will implement it,” she stated. Meanwhile, Ubial assured that health officials have researched first on the effects of the program in other countries. “We have studied and explored all possibilities and studies globally that providing condoms did not promote promiscuity but in fact it made those sexually active teens more cautious and knowledgeable of unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and STI including HIV/AIDS thus they became more careful,” she stated. The official further noted that condoms will not be given like candies, and the distribution will be done with very close supervision and counseling.
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