Why RH Bill Is Good

by Joseph G. Lariosa


CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – I always agree with the suggestion that a country is like a ship of state. If it is filled to the brim, it should close the gate from accepting more passengers to prevent it from taking water.This is also how I feel with the galloping Philippine population, which according to the Philippine National Census and Statistics Office, could breach 100 million in 2014.

The total population in the Philippines was last recorded at 94.9 million in 2011, up from 27.1 million in 1960, charging 251 percent during the last 50 years.

In November of last year, the world’s population peaked at 7 billion, according to United Nations demographers.

Since Adam and Eve’s creation, humans reached the first billion in 1804. It would take another 123 years in 1927 for the world to reach 2 billion.
The UN now estimates that by 2050, 9.3 billion will populate the Earth. It boggles the mind how the ship of the Earth will keep itself float.

Take a look at how overpopulation in the Philippines impacts its earnings.The Philippines has an area of 300,000 square kilometers while Singapore, at 714 square kilometers, is just slightly bigger than Metro Manila, which has a land area of 639 square kilometers.

But Singapore has only 5 million people while Metro Manila has more than double at 11.9 million.

And yet, according to World Bank estimates, Singapore is the 27th in the list of richest countries in the world at US$42,930 Gross National Income per capita in 2011. The U.S. is 17th in the list at $48,620, while the Philippines at $2,210, is near the bottom of the list at 152nd. The GNI per capita is the dollar value of a country’s final income in a year, divided by its population. It reflects the average income of a country’s citizens.

I am Catholic but I agree with the approval of Congress to pass the Reproductive Health (RH) bill that will try to arrest the Philippines’ runaway population.


The RH bill, among others, has the following objectives: to save the lives of mothers and the unborn; provide Filipinos with information on reproductive health so they can make informed and intelligent decisions; provide access to health care facilities and skilled health professionals before, during and after delivery; address HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases; provide access to different family planning methods; and institutionalize age and development appropriate reproductive health education.

If this bill is signed into, it is hoped to become the magic bullet that could make a dent on the uncontrolled Philippine population. President Aquino signed this bill called “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012” on Dec. 21, 2012. It becomes effective 15 days after publication in at least two newspapers of general circulation.

I do not subscribe to the narrow view of Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet, Camarines Norte in my home region of Bicol in the Philippines. He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that “overpopulation has been advantageous to the Philippines and to the world because it has increased the number of overseas workers and migrants who could send remittances (padala) back home while taking care of ageing people abroad and spreading the Christian faith.”

Garcera added the huge Philippine population could be part of “God’s plan for Filipinos to be caregivers to ageing nations whose populations had become stagnant.”

He also said many Filipino women would make “good wives” for foreigners in countries that have low population growth.

If we sign up on Garcera’s advocacies, who will take care of overseas Filipinos’ children, who are left behind in the Philippines?

Has the good bishop forgotten it that a two-parent family is still the best option to raise a child with the right family values?


Even if you shower your children with padala, these padala will all be meaningless if the children do not know how to save the money, if parents are
not watching how the children are spending this padala or if the money are spent in their best interest. I am sure if this padala is sent to the child’s guardian, who could be the child’s grandparent, aunt or a cousin, chances are this padala may not reach the child nor can it be used in his best interest. Mother or father still knows best.

If one parent is allowed to leave the Philippines to find work, the single parent left behind will still be handicapped in rearing the child. Sometimes, a
single parent cannot role play his/her espouse.

I know of a relative, who works in Saudi Arabia. She leaves her two daughters to the care of her father. Her 16-year-old daughter was beautiful and in second year high school. Unbeknownst to her father, a neighbor, who was married, was courting her daughter.

Before the grandfather knew it, his granddaughter was forced to quit third-year school as she became pregnant.

The grandfather sued the married man for raping his granddaughter. But the immoral Makati City judge dismissed the rape charges, agreeing to the rapist that the 16-year-old had consented to the rape.

The grandfather must have been haunted by his failed parenting or grandparenting skills and became so distraught that he would die a broken-hearted man a few years later.

If Bishop Garcera is serious in sending Filipinos overseas, he should advocate for a bill that would limit those going overseas for only those who have no children or espouses left behind. If a wife is left behind, chances are she will have a lot of suitors. If a husband is left behind, he will just become a philanderer and will be spending the padala for his vices. This is the easiest recipe to break a family. The out-of-sight-out-of-mind temptation is always there, especially if someone has nothing to do but to wait for the monthly padala.

Or a bill that would provide counseling, including free legal counseling, to broken marriages and pregnant children.

One of the more effective ways to control population is to enforce, if not, reinforce the child support program of the government.

If a deadbeat Dad or Mom will commit adultery, either of them is bound to pay for child support by obliging their employers to automatically deduct the child support from their salaries to be remitted to the single parent raising the child until the child finishes college. Repeat, college education.

Names of the deadbeat Dad or Mom should be made public so in case they would make another baby outside marriage, they are bound to pay for child support or risk going to jail.

I don’t subscribe to China’s one-child policy. Maybe a two-child Philippine policy will be good enough. But only for those families with income that can send their children to finish college. Repeat college education. Otherwise, for a third child or so, the family will be paying a fine. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)


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