Friday, April 20, 2012
Even without an RH Bill, the Philippines' population growth rate is still declining
The BusinessWorld’s Monday edition headline entitled “Population Count at P92.34M” is something that we’ve already known and written intensely. Allow me to quote the opening statement of that article, “The country’s population ballooned to 92.34 million in 2010 even as the pace of growth has slowed, latest official estimates show.” This is what we’ve been harping about in the last two years under the Aquino Regime that continues to insist that we need a Reproductive Health (RH) Bill to cull our purportedly “runaway” population growth.
This was the report that came from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing by the National Statistics Office (NSO) which proves that our annual population growth rate is only 1.9% when it should be at least 2.1%. This means our population is now declining, to think we don’t even have an RH Bill yet, as it is still being debated in the Congress floor. We have already more than emphasized that when populations go on a decline, it will take at least 3 or 4 generations before the decline can be arrested.
Our best example to date is Japan, whose population peaked after World War II, but then because of the remarkable economic growth that Japan experienced after the war, her population started to decline in the last 60 years. Today, so many kindergarten schools have shut down. Middle or high school campuses are almost empty and there are more old people walking the streets than young people.
By the time the Japanese government realized their serious mistake, it was already too late for them. Just a couple of years ago, at least two major Japanese multinational companies urged their employees to go home early and make babies. I don’t know if that program had an effect on Japan’s economic growth. Another country is Singapore, which, due to their being a small country, had no choice but to build high rise tenement housing for their people. Thus, with limited room, they could ill-afford to have more children because of their cramp spaces.
Now, Singapore is trying to attract an expat population so they could hire the best and the brightest from other nations. Without this, Singapore’s economy would ground to a halt. We are so blessed here in the Philippines because we have a robust population growth. Look at all the nations experiencing a robust economic growth in these times… China, India. I rest my case.
Without a doubt, the Philippines does not need an RH Bill. If there is anything that we direly need, it is to stop the imbalance in our money or wealth distribution. The rich continues to thrive, while the poor remains in that vicious cycle of poverty with no prospect of getting out of it. If the lot of the poor in our society can be elevated to become the middle class, it would mean a balanced distribution of wealth.
There’s a book entitled “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty” written by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, which syndicated columnist Thomas Friedman wrote about recently. I already ordered this book in FullyBook as I don’t want to get it in e-books. Anyway, the present system of governance in this country, where the ruling political and business elite have all but excluded the poor from our nation’s development, only tells you what we’ve been saying all along… we need a total overhaul of our current centralized system. If we don’t, someday Myanmar will overtake us and this is a reality we could face in the future.
Meanwhile, there’s that phenomenon whereby so many people living in the rural areas are migrating to live in urban centers. This is something that the Philippine government ought to look into. Manila based commentators insist that we are overpopulated because, like what the last Census has shown, the CALABARZON area is now the most populous with 12.61 million people living in the outskirts of Metro Manila, which is has become the second placer with 11.86 million people. Cebu with 2.62 million is not bad.
Once more we appeal to our readers, especially those Catholics whose hearts are close to our Lord Jesus Christ to come out in the open and help expose this despicable crime that would fall upon our nation under the guise of being a health program to protect women, when the reality is, the RH Bill is merely aimed to legalize the killing of the unborn.
Incidentally, I was at the drugstore the other day getting my prescription medicines and saw condoms, which you could buy over the counter in all drugstores. So if condoms are freely available (not only in drugstores but even in convenience stores), why is there a need to legislate this? Clearly the aim is to let corporations pay for the condoms or other contraceptive needs of its employees… something that unfortunately even the Cebu Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (CCCI) are totally unaware of.