STUDENTS should divert their energies to activities like sports to avoid being tempted to engage in pre-marital sex, a staunch anti-Reproductive Health (RH) bill advocate said in a forum last March 16.

Speaking for the first time since admitting to giving incentives to students who had posted negative comments on the Facebook page of a political party supporting the RH bill, theology professor Aguedo Jalin said the bill would destroy the family as an institution.

“The reason why the RH bill is strong right now is because it is targeting the youth. [The proponents of the bill] are riding on the energy of the youth to get this passed when in fact this bill makes the youth irresponsible, since it can promote promiscuity,” Jalin said.

Jalin said the RH proponents were taking advantage of the “sign of the times” when the media are showing the carefree lifestyle of the rich and famous, which in turn pollutes the minds of the youth in doing pre-marital sex.

“You young people should exert your energies on things like sports and studies so that you will not be tempted to give in,” Jalin said.

Jalin drew flak from the Akbayan Youth group over the Facebook incentives last February. But the UST administration said this was a theology professor’s valid exercise of academic freedom.

Jalin recalled that he and his students were discussing corruption in the Armed Forces and the leftist Akbayan’s condom distribution campaign at Mega Q-Mart in Quezon City to promote the passage of the RH bill. He said he eventually resolved to help the bishops get the anti-RH bill message across, especially in social networks.

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“I wondered how I could help the bishops since I was scared the bill might be passed when I saw Representative Lagman saying on national television that the bill will soon be passed,” Jalin said. Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman is the principal author of the bill.

The forum titled “Rubberizing Morality: The Facts Behind the RH Bill” also featured UST doctor Edilberto Gonzaga who discussed artificial and natural family planning methods to mostly first- and second-year Arts and Letters students at the Rizal Auditorium.

Easy way out

Gonzaga said contraceptives have made it easier for young people escape responsibility when it comes to their sexual activities.

“Contraceptives have made young people irresponsible because these devices deny their responsibility to the real object of the sexual act which is reproduction,” Gonzaga said.

“This bill can encourage promiscuity since it also promotes artificial contraceptives which eliminate the diligence and dedication needed in the natural family planning methods,” Gonzaga added. Darenn G. Rodriguez

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