I was planning for several weeks now to sit down and distill all of my thoughts regarding the RH Bill. Had notes on the post I intended to write, but decided to simply speak based on personal opinion for the most part. And I understand that everyone may have slightly to vastly differing opinions, but this is mine. The RH Bill is only one step of many measures required to help the country improve prospects for the vast majority of its population. But for me, it is absolutely a CRITICAL step. Arguments can go back and forth on the fine or not so fine points of the debate, but here are my personal observations that drive my support for the RH Bill.
1. I just look around, and I feel like there are simply too many people for the size of the country, its resources and its ability to employ, feed, educate and raise its large population. Forget population densities, average population growth rates compared with neighbors, the slums and packed living conditions in many urban areas.
Here an interesting rundown of local population numbers from 1872, I believe, taken by Mrs. MM at the recent exhibit of Philippine Maps at the Metropolitan Museum. She realized afterwards photos weren’t allowed. Today, we are near 100 million people. And by 2050, just 38 years from now, we could be at 150+ million or more. Yipes.
2. The vast majority of the population makes too little income to decently or adequately, feed, house, clothe and educate their children. Refer to my old post on poverty levels, here.
3. The quality of education and the testing statistics for the nation’s kids, is utterly appalling, see this old post, here.
4. Recent studies suggest that up to 40% of all five year olds tested are physically STUNTED in growth, a condition that will also affect their brain development, and NO MATTER what you do later in life, the kids will suffer because of this lack of proper nutrition in the first five years of life. In the past 5-6 years, marketmanila.com has sponsored feeding programs, and roughly 25-35% of the public school populations we have seen are slightly to severely malnourished.
5. I personally give staff birth control seminars which they attend on a voluntary basis. Over the hundreds of folks I have personally come across, the vast majority were NOT AWARE of even the basic arguments for or against contraception or contraceptive methods. Many had no clue beyond the most basic description of why or how anyone gets pregnant.
6. Of crew and staff I have employed in restaurants or at home or on farms, nearly 80-90% are young, parents out of wedlock, and “living in”… Fewer and fewer even aspire to a church wedding due to cost and other considerations. This to me is actually a rather surprising reality. I can’t fathom how folks suggest that an RH Bill promotes promiscuity, as from everything I am seeing, it’s hard to get any MORE promiscuous… But again, that’s my view.
7. Everyone has the right to have as many kids as they want. But my point is, shouldn’t all kids have at least the basic right to sufficient food, decent housing, a solid education, etc.? They DIDN’T ASK to come into this world, their parents caused them to come into this world. And yes, I believe we each should be responsible for raising and providing for our OWN offspring.
8. Why shouldn’t we provide information and contraception for folks who voluntarily wish to explore these areas? Isn’t it irresponsible not to educate and inform? To consider the health of the mother and children? To explore the benefits of planning how large and how rapidly we build our own families?
9. I know I am preaching to the choir… over 92% of this blog’s readership said the country was “overpopulated.” And I am sure we could discuss this until we all turned blue in the face. And it is definitely not just about population, but HEALTH as well… health of the child(ren) and health of the mothers.
Bottom line? Would we really consider it a good idea for have a nation made up of 150 million people by 2050, 35 million of which adults were mentally impacted by poor nutrition at an early age? And 130 million of which failed to get HIGhER than 50% on their 6th grade standardized tests in English, Math and Science? And perhaps 70-90% of whom wouldn’t have access to decent housing and healthcare services? That completely boggles the mind.
Yes, there will be a 1-5% slice of the population that will do adequately to spectacularly well. But is that enough to carry and provide for the remaining 95%? I don’t think so.
For the curious, here’s a link to the full text of the RH Bill, so you can read it for yourself.
These stickers have been on all of our cars for the past two months. I hope congressmen aren’t bullied into a position that does NOT reflect the majority opinion of their constituents.
This post is bound to attract some controversy, so right up front, I am limiting comments to regular readers who have posted comments before. It’s a simple screen to prevent new visitors from trying to stir the pot. I will also delete any comments for or against that are, in my opinion, inappropriate or unnecessary. You were forewarned.