Group urges sex education for overseas workers
MANILA, Philippines—An overseas Filipino workers group in the Middle East called on the Philippine government Friday to include sex education in the mandatory pre-departure orientation seminars for OFWs.
Migrante-Middle East said the sex education refresher course could be a way to promote awareness and prevention of the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
“If sex education is being proposed to be part of elementary education curriculum, the need is more pressing for OFWs’ education about sex and health,” said Migrante-ME regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona.
Monterona cited records from the Department of Health that around 6,500 Filipinos are currently infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.
“What is quite alarming is that of the 500 HIV cases that have been reported this year, 67 involved OFWs,” Monterona said.
Monterona said though that the number of OFWs reportedly infected with HIV was “too small” compared with the total number of OFWs around the world, which is estimated at eight to 10 million.
“Still a comprehensive program of educating OFWs how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases like HIV must be crafted and implemented,” he added.
Monterona recalled an incident involving OFWs who were caught having sex on the beach in Dubai, United Arab Emirates two weeks ago.
“It made us think if these OFWs are fully aware and educated on the implications of what they’ve done, aside from once caught they’ll be put to jail, is the risk of being infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,” he said,
Monterona, however, clarified that the inclusion of sex education in OFWs’ pre-departure orientation seminars must not be made a justification to impose additional charges.
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