NYC to DOH: Stop 'Gaga Girl, Bobo Boy' video
MANILA, Philippines – After public outcry over its latest infomercial on teenage pregnancy, it took less than 24 hours for the Department of Health (DOH) to take down the video from its Facebook page.
But netizens were quick to make their own copies, and the video has since made its rounds on the Internet. (READ: Netizens decry DOH anti-pregnancy video)
The National Youth Commission (NYC) urged the department to “permanently remove the said material from various official platforms” and to stop its distribution “within the health system."
This means shelving the video completely and not using it in caravans and community events, Commissioner Percival Cendaña told Rappler in a text message Thursday, December 4.
"The NYC is particularly concerned with the core messages of the material which reinforce stigma, discrimination and sex negative attitudes among the youth and society in general,” Cendaña wrote in a letter to Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin on Wednesday, December 3.
The 3-minute video posted on DOH’s Facebook page on Sunday, November 30, featured a song that talks about young relationships, sexual intercourse, and teenage pregnancy from the perspective of a teenage girl, a teenage boy, and an adult.
In one part of the song, the adult voice warned the teenagers of the consequences of teenage pregnancy, calling sexual intercourse a “sin.” The teenagers were also described as “gaga” and “bobo” (stupid).
Cendaña on Wednesday said sex negativity keeps young people from accessing accurate information when, in fact, it is "scientific, age-appropriate and culturally-sensitive information” that can help reduce risky behavior.
"Health promotions, [e]specially on [adolescent sexual and reproductive health] should be anchored on young people’s evolving capacities and should be mindful and respectful of their context and conditions,” he added.
NYC as policy authority on youth development and participation in the Philippines offered to help DOH craft appropriate and youth-friendly public messages on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
"Teen pregnancy is truly one of the defining issues of this generation. Convergence among government agencies and meaningful participation of young people in the development of strategies, campaigns, and programs are critical in addressing this concern,” Cendaña said. – Rappler.com