DepEd Faces Class Suit for Inclusion of Sex Education in Public Schools

Manila Bulletin, June 21, 2010 | Go to article overview

DepEd Faces Class Suit for Inclusion of Sex Education in Public Schools


Officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) face a class suit filed by individuals regarding their move to integrate sex education in the country's primary and secondary education curricula.Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) legal officer Atty. Jo Aurea Imbong along with other 27 individuals composed of Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) officials and members of other pro-life groups as complainants filed the class suit on Monday at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against Education Secretary Mona Valisno and Undersecretary Ramon Bacani to stop the pilot testing of the sex education program in 159 public schools nationwide.In a 28-page petition for temporary restraining order, Imbong asked the court to stop the mandatory teaching of sex education, stating that "it is a violation of parents' rights to nurture their children's moral character."Imbong, also a member of the faith-based AKP and a defeated senatorial candidate in the May 2010 elections, claimed that teaching sex education in schools is unconstitutional. According to her, the restriction is provided by Section 12, Article II of the Charter, which states that, "The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the government."In a statement, AKP president Eric Manalang said that the suit seeks to declare DepEd Memorandum No. 261, s. 2005, which implements the sex education program, "as unconstitutional for being anti-family and anti-life."Manalang said that the memorandum issued by Bacani in 2005 is "unreasonable and arbitrary, violating substantive due process which proscribes arbitrary and unreasonable policies and actions of public officers."The petitioners, mostly were parents, claim that the memorandum also violates their primary right to the development of the moral character of their children and violates the rights of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies affecting them."The program has been violating provisions of the 1987 Constitution that has upheld the right of spouses to found a family according to their religious beliefs, the sanctity of family life, the inviolability of marriage, and the protection of the family as a basic autonomous social institution and foundation of the nation," Manalang stated.Valisno, on the other hand, said that they have yet to receive the copy of the class suit filed before making any statement. She also reiterated that DepEd respects the inputs of the CBCP and "we value them as partners. …

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