Posts Tagged ‘UP’

Population, Poverty, Politics and the Reproductive Health Bill

Jul 29, 2012 • 6:36 PM


Ernesto M. Pernia, Stella Alabastro-Quimbo, Maria Joy V. Abrenica, Ruperto P. Alonzo, Agustin L. Arcenas, Arsenio M. Balisacan, Dante B. Canlas, Joseph J. Capuno, Ramon L. Clarete, Rolando A. Danao, Emmanuel S. de Dios, Aleli de la Paz-Kraft, Benjamin E. Diokno, Geoffrey M. Ducanes, Marina B. Durano, Emmanuel F. Esguerra, Raul V. Fabella, Teresa J. Ho, Dennis Claire S. Mapa, Felipe M. Medalla, Maria Nimfa F. Mendoza, Solita C. Monsod, Toby Melissa C. Monsod, Fidelina Natividad-Carlos, Aniceto C. Orbeta, Cayetano W. Paderanga, Majah-Leah V. Ravago, Gerardo P. Sicat, Orville C. Solon, and Edita A.Tan. *

The population issue has long been dead and buried in developed and most developing countries, including historically Catholic countries. That it continues to be debated heatedly in our country merely testifies to the lack of progress in policy and action. The Catholic Church hierarchy has maintained its traditional stance against modern family planning (FP) methods, particularly modern (also referred to as “artificial”) contraceptives. On the other hand, the State acknowledges the difficulties posed for development by rapid population growth, especially among the poorest Filipinos. But it has been immobilized from effectively addressing the issue by the Catholic hierarchy’s hard-line position, as well as the tendency of some politicians to cater to the demands of well-organized and impassioned single-issue groups for the sake of expediency. Caught between a hard Church and a soft State are the overwhelming majority of Filipinos who affirm the importance of helping women and couples control the size of their families and the responsibility of the government to provide budgetary support for modern FP services.

Renewed impetus to the debate has been given by the public and political interest in the decade-and-a-half old bill on “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development” (RH bill, for short). Unfortunately, serious discussion has been hampered by the lack of reliable information and the proclivity of some parties in the debate to use epithets that label the bill as “pro-abortion”, “anti-life”, and “immoral”.
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(Book) Population and Poverty: A Review of the Links, Evidence and Implications for the Philippines

Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C.

The article reviews trends in population and poverty, compares population and development between the Philippines and Thailand over the last 40 years, discusses the theoretical links between population and poverty as well as the empirical evidence, and finally its implications for policy. The author emphasizes the primacy of growth as a development strategy in reducing poverty and perhaps inequality, as well as better fertility management–particularly among the poor–aimed at the potential development benefits arising from demography.

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