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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Myth on Poverty and Overpopulation

Here's a view on RH advocacy from the stand point of someone with a "closed mind".

Hey, I am a Catholic and I am an RH Advocate. Trust me when I say these two (2) are NOT mutually exclusive. That same religion taught me that God gave us freewill. Some people keep forgetting that. One must realize that even among the clergy, views on the issue of artificial contraception have not been unanimous and conclusive, although at present, the "official position" has always been against it.

Religion should never be an inhibitor for development.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. " - Galileo Galilee
Emil Jurado / To the Point / Manila Standard Today/October 10


Here we go again: Congress is planning to set aside P1 billion worth of condoms, birth control pills and other reproductive health products to control the country’s population growth. We are now 88 million Filipinos, and growing by 2.36 percent annually.

Expectedly, the Catholic Church, through the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, opposed the move and said that the money should instead be channeled to projects aimed at easing poverty and hunger.

Sterilization and the use of the contraception are basically wrong and are aimed at destroying the fruitfulness of human reproductive capacities which are God-given. The use of condoms and other forms of contraception are basically wrong, not because the Church forbids them, but they against nature and God’s laws.

I am a practicing Catholic, and family planning and responsible parenthood to me means that couples, whether Catholics or not, are free to exercise sexual and family morality according to one’s religious conviction. I have been married 52 years and I never used contraception, and my wife and I are blessed with four children, and now five grandchildren.


Since my faith tells me that contraception or any other artificial means of birth control is basically against nature and God’s law, I abide by it.

Thus, every Catholic is also bound by it. Otherwise, those who don’t believe in it may as well join the “Born Again” and Protestant sects that don’t believe in the Church. It’s as simple as that.


Advocates of the use of condom and other means of artificial birth control inevitably use poverty as the reason for the need to control population. But, coming right down to it, is poverty really the result of overpopulation?

Demographics will show that poverty is caused by a confluence of events. One is constant migration of people from the rural areas to urban centers to seek employment or because their relatives want them around. The end-result is the proliferation of squatter colonies, now euphemistically called “informal settlers or dwellers.” These are the people who remain jobless and rely only on their employed relatives.

Another reason for poverty is the unequal distribution of wealth, and most importantly, graft and corruption. This deprives people what is due them. Money pocketed by corrupt officials, running to the billions of pesos, could have been used to fund projects to ease hunger and poverty.


Poverty is always used as a convenient excuse for advocates of condom and artificial birth control, euphemistically called “reproductive health” and “responsible parenthood.” Many point to overpopulation as the culprit.

But there’s no empirical basis for saying that overpopulation causes poverty and hunger. Take the most populated regions of the country, like the National Capital Region. It is in this region where the greater wealth of the nation comes from. Going outside the country, look at Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan where the population is thin, and you see people dying from hunger and disease.

Singapore for many years adopted a two-children policy, but it has reversed it now after it realized its population is aging, like Japan. Now Singapore is encouraging early marriages, and even giving incentives to those who opt to do so.

In other words, overpopulation causing hunger and poverty is a myth. Poverty will always be with us, whether we like it or not. Even highly developed countries like Japan and the United States have homeless and hungry people. Go to Tokyo and you see the homeless pitching tents at Hibiya Park right in front of the Imperial Palace, and go to the US where there are soup kitchens for the jobless and the unemployed.

That’s why I say that God must really love the poor because He created so many of them. The bottom line here is that as a Catholic, I believe in my faith and I’ll die for it.



Lester Cavestany said...

Sir, I agree with what you said that those who don’t believe in it (Catholic church's teaching against artificial contraception) may as well join the “Born Again” and Protestant sects that don’t believe in the Church."

What I can't figure out is why our government believes and abides by the Catholic Church teachings on this matter. Last time I checked, our government should be free of religious ties because our constitution demands the separation of church and state. Why is the government imposing catholic beliefs on family planning to everyone in the Philippines - even to those who are not Catholics.