The Contraceptive Bill

Manila Bulletin, May 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

The Contraceptive Bill


Thank God, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has given the nod for a population control program and appropriated R2.5 billion in funds to support it.

Whether or not she saw the "light" on her own, the program will go far in stemming the baby boom that the nation with all its problems today can ill afford. The way things are, we can barely feed, clothe and put a roof over a good half of our 84 million population. How the Filipino population became so huge so fast is beyond comprehension.

Cong. Edcel Lagman, the leading proponent for a bill propagating family planning and birth control, is one brave man. He knows his bill is headed for an uphill battle, starting with Congress which one suspects of being nothing more than a mouthpiece of the administration.

A recent debate hosted by Dong Puno in the latters show, Lagman faced up to Manila Mayor Lito Atienza. The latter has always stood pat about letting the population grow gang-ho in his belief that there is prosperity in numbers. If you ask me, the only thing "good" about Atienzas numbers is the more people one has in ones bailiwick, the more the voters one can get.

Indeed! He points to China as a glowing example of his theory. Look at China, he said the economy is booming; in fact, China will be the most formidable economic power in the future because of the sheer numbers of the Chinese population.

Atienza conveniently forgets that the Chinese government was forced to impose the onechild policy to stem the countrys unbridled population boom. At latest count, there are 1.2 billion Chinese in China alone, which are just too many to feed.

During a recent visit to southwest China, far away from Shanghai, we saw poverty and hardship among the provincial people.

To believe that there is prosperity in numbers borders on idiocy. Where is the "prosperity" for the carpenter who must feed his wife and five children on his meager pay? And when Madame GMA declares a holiday (because the President loves long weekends), the carpenters family doesnt eat. Remember ... no work, no pay!

As Cong. Lagman patiently explained to the Manila Mayor, the program starts with an information drive, aside from contraceptives which shall be made available, to ensure that couples can make an "informed decision. …

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