Why is there so much fuss and flurry about the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill?
Will its implementation really give positive effect on the economy of the Philippines? When asked to give a comment on the issue, Fr. Ed “Among” Panlilio said that as a priest, he had to take the position of the Catholic Church. As a practicing Catholic, I am inclined to agree with him and follow what the bible says— increase and multiply. But the Scriptures were written centuries ago and maybe that particular tenet no longer applies.
But what about the negative impact of the ever-increasing population of the Philippines? As of 2008, the Bureau of Census and Statistics recorded 90,348,437. That’s very close to 100 million! Is the government capable of sustaining more?
With that figure, the Philippines has become the world’s 12th most populous country. If not checked, the country will undoubtedly reach 100 million and may be aligned with Bangladesh in terms of per capita income. During the same year (2008), the Philippines registered US$3,300 versus the per capita income of Bangladesh which stood at US$1,500. The Philippines is miles below Australia whose per capita income is US$38,100.
An annual per capita of $3,300 is translated to $9 per day. Try and figure it out how a family of 4 can survive, taking into account meals, rent, utilities and other basic human needs.
Now there exists an embittered fight between President Noynoy Aquino and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). The latter even threatened President Noynoy with excommunication if the bill would be signed into a law.
Will the Philippines follow the one-child policy of China? The RH bill seeks reproductive health as a “prime responsibility” of the government. It mandates health and government agencies to educate women and couples about birth control, using condoms and other forms of contraceptives. The Church regards such measures as a form of abortion. The Catholic hierarchy insists on the “rhythm” method as the only acceptable means of birth control and population growth. The method involves abstinence from sex when the woman is deemed to be fertile. That of course defies natural human urge which is a God-given instinct. – ? DMC
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