Starting September 8, 2012, anonymous comments -- whether for or against the RH bill -- will no longer be permitted on this blog.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Asia's baby bust: is this what we want to import into our country?

From Valeriano "Bobit" Avila's column in the Philippine Star for today, January 5, 2010, entitled "Fewer babies for the Asian tiger economies":

One of the first stories to be headlined in this New Year, 2011 was a report from the National Statistics Office (NSO) that the population of the Philippines could reach 95.8 million people, which puts our population rate at 2.04 percent. But someone (obviously pro-RH Bill) always interjects that the ideal growth rate to accelerate economic growth is 1.04 percent. This is what is known as Total Fertility Rate (TFR). What few people know or understand is that, the ideal TFR of 2.1 children per woman is necessary to replace a country’s population, so we’re not so far off from that figure.

Incidentally my good friend, Rev. Fr. Gregory Gaston, SThD came up with his research in a booklet called “World Population Collapse: Lessons for the Philippines” and by using statistics from the United Nations, it shows that there is a general decline in the TFR of many countries, notably in Europe. Fr. Gaston even quotes a Newsweek cover story last Sept. 27, 2004 entitled “Baby Bust. For more and more Countries. The Problem isn’t having too many people, but having too few.”

Just a week ago, European Union (EU) Ambassador Alistair MacDonald was expressing his support for the RH bill, saying publicly that this was good for the Philippines. Excuse me your Excellency, but isn’t your comment a direct foreign interference on what we believe is a purely domestic affair? It makes me wonder why the EU Ambassador would support the RH bill when the French government pays 800 Euros for every child that is born? If you didn’t know, the City of Naples offers 10,000 Euros for each new baby! The same is true in Sweden, where pregnant mothers are paid salaries but asked to stay home to ensure that the baby is born.

There are more reports on this, which has nothing to do with the Catholic Church. Just a day before Christmas, the Agence France-Presse came up with a stunning report entitled Asia’s Baby shortage sets Demographic time bomb ticking”. This report gave us a glimpse of the world’s lowest birth rates, which is taking a toll on their ballooning health care and pension costs. The article refers to countries like Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. The article suggests, “East Asia’s booming economies have for years been the envy of the world, but a shortfall in one crucial area — babies — threatens to render yesterday’s tigers toothless!”

As I’ve been saying all along, the best birth control method is a successful economy, where citizens enjoy new found wealth, which they don’t want to be spoiled by having babies. In short, the success of the Tiger economies resulted in fewer babies born in these Asian countries. This is what the Hawaii-based East-West Centre found out when it reported, “Over the past 50 years, economic and social modernization of Asia has been accompanied by a remarkable drop in birth rates.” So logic dictates that the Philippines should not push through with the RH Bill because we have the advantage of seeing what will happen in the future for our people if we pass this bill.
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For e-mail responses to this article, write to or vsbobita@ His columns can be accessed through

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