The Catholic Church, for example, is influential when it comes to sexual values in the Philippines with nearly 80% of Filipinos identifying as Catholic. This institution is known for its hardline stance against the use of contraceptives and condom wearing in the Philippines. It advocates against premarital sex and same-sex relations while preaching abstinence instead.
The Philippine national government, while a secular one on paper, is also vocal about preventing sexual activity among teenagers and young adults. The policies it has enacted include banning condom distribution in schools. In addition, there is a clear lack of implementation of sex education, which includes condom wearing in the Philippines. Current policies focus more on family planning, responsible procreation, and abstinence as well.
The combined efforts of the Church and government to curb sexual activities, however, have failed to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. In January 2019, the Department of Health reported 1,200 new cases of HIV. This is a continuation of an alarming surge of HIV cases in recent years. In 2017 alone, more than 11,000 new cases of HIV were recorded. It is a massive jump from the 9,000 cases recorded in 2016.
What can be the reason for such alarming figures?
Why Condoms Aren’t Used More Often
In a survey conducted by the health management organization (HMO) PhilCare, they learned that only 1 in 10 sexually active Filipinos use condoms. This makes an alarming majority of Filipinos susceptible to STDs and pregnancies.
Around the world, it has been found that condom use prevents or lessens these health issues. This is not the case, however, in the Philippines.
According to the social advocate group Human Rights Watch, condom wearing in the Philippines is lax among Filipinos for the following reasons:
Lack of education and information
Condom information is scant in developing countries. Young people might be aware of condoms, but only a few are knowledgeable enough to use them.