Being one of the pilot regions for the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Region I together with the Department of Education (DepEd) Region I continue to ensure that teachers and learners are efficiently equipped with the right knowledge, skills, and attitudes on sexual and reproductive health.

As such, a CSE Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was held on June 16-17, 2022 at the La Jenns Hotel and Resto Grill, Bantay, Ilocos Sur. The activity aimed to provide a venue to share experiences and updates on the CSE implementation in the region; to identify strengths, opportunities and challenges in the implementation; and to develop a regional plan of action in the implementation of CSE.

POPCOM I Regional Director Erma R. Yapit gives an inspirational message during the first day of the activity.

Face-to-face participants were the Education Program Supervisors (EPS) in Araling Panlipunan and CSE Focal Persons while online participants were the School Coordinators, Head Teachers, Kindergarten and Personal Development (PERDEV) Teachers, and Nurses from the 14 schools division offices (SDOs) in the region.

Ms. Kristine Diane M. Oineza-Padilla, Information Officer III/Technical Head, gave the overview and the objectives of the Philippine Population and Development Program while Ms. Maria Cristina F. Martinez presented the regional situationer of adolescent pregnancy.

Education Program Supervisors (EPS) also shared the status of adolescent pregnancy in their respective divisions as well as their issues and the interventions they have implemented to combat teenage pregnancy.

Dr. Editha Giron, Regional CSE Coordinator of DepEd I, presented the regional status of the CSE implementation highlighting its best practices and various efforts in strengthening the integration of CSE in the school curriculum. During the discussion, it has been noted that the regions formulated their own CSE modules as there is no standard modules developed yet by DepEd.

Day 2 of the FGD saw the participants working on the CSE Unified Next Steps wherein the groups identified the causal factors of teenage pregnancy, enumerated the needed resources and support mechanisms to meet the goals of the CSE, and the next steps of the CSE implementation.

The participants gathered into two groups during the Unified Next Steps Workshop where they identified the causal factors of teenage pregnancy to meet the goals of the CSE, enumerated the needed resources and support mechanisms for the implementation of CSE, and formulated the next steps of the CSE implementation.

POPCOM Regional Director Erma R. Yapit said that teachers play a very important role in influencing the in-school youth as they are directly interacting with them. She also inspired the participation of everyone and underscored that “the best strategy that we will be doing so that maging successful ang ating implementation ng CSE is convergence, the convergence of all the stakeholders in the implementation of CSE.”