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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

so what's new in 2008?

Hey there! Hope everyone had a great celebration for the new year. I got so caught up with other stuff, mostly family affairs and concerns, that it took me awhile to blog.

At any rate, the editorial piece from Phil Star dated January 3, 2008 caught my attention as I was eating breakfast at Jollibee. =) It was delightful that during these first few days of 2008, reproductive health and population issues were the focus of the editorial/opinion section of a national broadsheet. This somehow implies that the advocacy on these concerns are getting stronger and truly efficient. Hopefully, the national government would take the necessary steps very soon. After all, it's a new year..... new hope. Truly meaningful and worthwhile things should be accomplished.

Read the OP/ED piece below...

EDITORIAL – 90 million and counting

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Government officials have admitted that the benefits of economic growth are not trickling down to the masses. As various quarters have pointed out, one of the reasons for this is that economic growth cannot keep pace with population growth. There are simply too many people sharing limited resources. The Commission on Population is projecting the number of Filipinos to balloon this year to 90.1 million. Population officials say the figure would be higher if Filipino women leaving for abroad were not controlling their pregnancies for a better chance of landing jobs overseas.

Migration for birth control? The government, which has made family planning a low priority, will only be too happy to deploy more workers overseas. Their constantly increasing remittances are good for economic growth figures. But the government cannot place the burden of family planning purely on the shoulders of workers who want to leave the country because of problems that are partly caused by too many people sharing a pie that isn’t big enough. At the very least, the government should inform the people about their options in planning the size of their families. Women must have sufficient knowledge of reproductive health and the options available to them in spacing pregnancies.

The House of Representatives is taking a more active role in promoting family planning by setting aside a portion of the proposed 2008 national budget for the purchase of contraceptives for distribution in government health centers. The executive should match this initiative at least with an effective information campaign on birth control. That kind of information can even save lives. Studies have shown that every year, hundreds of thousands of Filipino women, a number of them teenagers, terminate unwanted pregnancies through abortion, mostly at the hands of midwives.

No one is advocating abortion as part of the government’s family planning program. The most that family planning advocates are hoping for from a government that is scared of losing Church support is an effective information program. If the government is allowing the Church to dictate state policy, it should remember that one of the bedrocks of Christianity is free will, with the choices based on sufficient knowledge. Women should be fully informed of their options and reproductive rights, and be allowed to make an informed choice.