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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bishops now open to talks on population

This is good news. Certified... But I have to say, why do we wait for these things to happen (RICE CRISIS) when we have been telling you ( CHURCH, LEGISLATORS, GMA...) these all along ???

Again,it's no brainer really -- - MORE MOUTHS TO FEED = LESS FOOD EACH MOUTH RECEIVES.

Bishops now open to talks on population

By Jess Diaz
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Source: The Philippine Star

Catholic bishops, who have been frowning upon suggestions that the government implement birth control and family planning programs, are now open to discussing population issues in the wake of the rice crisis.

Caloocan City Bishop Deogracias Yniguez told a news forum in Quezon City recently that Church leaders recognize the correlation between food production and consumption and a burgeoning population.

If consumption is huge, there may be instances when production may not be able to keep up. This is where we need to discuss the parameters and the need for policy,” he said.

Yniguez, however, said that people should not just be considered as consumers but as producers as well. But he conceded that a manageable population might also result in faster food production.

Yniguez made the statement after Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III told him that leaders of the Catholic Church can no longer ignore the population explosion problem.

Escudero, who was agriculture minister during the Marcos regime and agriculture secretary during the Ramos administration, said the rice crisis is directly linked with the growing population.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, House appropriations committee chairman, had earlier blamed the rice crisis not only on the dwindling area of farmland but on population explosion as well.

The House of Representatives has also been urged by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc. (PLCPD) to provide answers to the current rice crisis through sound population management.

The country’s population, estimated at 90 million, consumes 33,000 tons of rice per day and the agriculture sector will have a hard time meeting the rice demand of the rapidly growing number of people, PLCPD executive director Ramon San Pascual said in a statement.

San Pascual said there are bills pending in Congress that will result in long-term, more sustainable solutions to the rice crisis such as managing rapid population growth, increasing rice production and protecting agricultural lands from illegal conversion.

Lagman said the country’s population growth rate of 2.36 percent, as documented by the National Statistics Office, outpaces the annual growth in rice production of 1.9 percent.

He also said that while the country’s rice production is almost twice that of Thailand, the latter’s population growth rate is only 1.4 percent. He urged the leadership of both the executive and legislative branches of government to support the enactment of House Bill 17 on reproductive health, responsible parenthood, family planning, and population management, of which he is a principal author.

A comprehensive national policy on reproductive health and population management is long overdue. No amount of bountiful harvest can adequately feed the growing multitude of Filipinos. The reality of the law of supply and demand, coupled with inflation, invariably escalates the price of rice,” he said.

Rio Magpayo, PLCPD’s agrarian reform and development issue officer, also said that unless a new law is passed that will extend funding for agrarian reform, there is a huge possibility that owners will convert these lands into commercial, residential or industrial uses. – With Antonieta Lopez


Lester Cavestany said...

Better late than never. I hope the church really pushes for responsible parenthood and family planning.

Baka lumubog na ang barko natin sa dami ng tao.

PhilMADE said...

You're right. We hope this momentum builds up so that policy and behavior changes could truly take place.