Sunday, November 2, 2008
As the online debates about the RH bill (HB 5043) mushroom all over, I notice that people look at the anti-RH side as a mob of lemmings who merely blindly follow what Church leaders are saying. But truth is, all of the people against RH whom I know are actually those who are reading between the lines of what this bill is about. The Church has her reasons for opposing the bill, but if you think outside the box--try not to consider the Church stance--you'll see there's much about the bill that isn't quite right.
I blame the "lemming" idea partly on the media because it's so easy to take a bishop's stance and paint a clown face on it that we forget ordinary people can sincerely feel the same way about this issue.
The disadvantages of contraceptives aside, the biggest problem with the bill is its goal of "controlling population" when overpopulation is not even a real issue. Here's a snippet of an article by Emmanuel Amador from the publication Love Life ["Does Population Growth really exacerbate poverty?" Vol. 1 No.1] that might help one understand why population control is not the way to go:
Although it is true that, in general, a bigger population can consume more resources than a smaller one, people do more than merely consume. They also produce, just as manufacturing does.
In addition, high population density allows for mass markets, greater interaction, more efficient distribution of services, and economies of scale. Growing populations can also mean growing markets and increased innovation. It's no wonder that persons are generally acknowledged as a nation's most valuable resource.
If population density and population growth contribute to productivity in such important ways, why then should these be singled out as something to be minimized while other productive "contributing factors" [to poverty] aren't?
More importantly, why should the government spend millions on trying to minimize a productive "contributing factor" when there are other greater contributing factors that are not productive at all? Numerous surveys, for example, have shown that the economic situation in the Philippines (and in many other countries) is adversely affected by massive government graft and corruption, draining anywhere from 30% to 70% of tax revenues and government funds, depending on which survey you look at. Shouldn't efforts be focused on eliminating this proven "contributing factor" instead?
Population control is a poor solution to the problem of poverty simply because by cutting down on people we're crippling industry and economics--after all our best resource is people. If you limit the births now, in 50 years our population will be "top heavy" or aging. There will be more old people to support through pensions than there are people to work and pay the taxes that answer for these pensions.