Got this from the Inq7 site today. And all I can say is thank goodness, it’s about time!
(actually, I’ve got more to say…)
Last Holy Week, I caught the last half of a portion of I-Witness (The GMA Documentaries), one of channel 7’s public affairs’ shows. I wanted to watch this when it was aired (13 Feb 2006), but missed it.
This particular episode, Gutom (translated: hunger), Jay Taruc gives a face to the rising statistic of hunger among Filipino families by experiencing what it�s like to go without food for five days (copied from the episode guide).
It was *terrible*, to say the least. I can’t understand how these people can just have baby after baby after baby. I can’t, for the life of me, imagine how it would be to have a baby and not slim down after (wahahahaha—and you guys thought it was a *bigger*, i.e., worldly, concern?).
But still, that’s not the point. How can they take care of one while running after the others? I can’t begin to imagine. I shudder at the thought.
With my three boys, S (the hubby), P (the elder boy) and K (the baby), my hands are full. There’s S who will say, “Mommy, please make me a sandwich when you’re free” (it’s good, he’s considerate), then there’s P: “Mommy, please read this book to me in English” (it was a Filipino book, you see…), and then there’s K, who’ll point to my breasts and say “Nya-nya” (which means, can I please have some milk?). And sometimes, this happens all at the SAME TIME.
But man, the Catholic church should really be realistic here. We need some REAL family planning!!!
Oh, and check out the last paragraph…so where are the MEN??? Been looking for dates for my friends!! Please, if you know anyone, let me know—perhaps we can play matchmakers.
Population growth down
Gov�t sees fewer poor Filipinos in 2010
First posted 01:17am (Mla time) May 11, 2006
By Michelle Remo, Christian V. Esguerra
Editor’s Note: Published on Page A1 of the May 11, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE PHILIPPINES� annual population growth slowed down to a rate of 1.95 percent last year, prompting economic authorities to say that the deceleration would help make the country�s poverty-reduction goal within reach.
Should this growth rate be sustained, the Philippines would have over 94 million people by 2010, the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) reported yesterday.
The Philippine population growth rate stood at 2.1 percent from 2000 to 2004. As of last year, the population was estimated at 85.2 million.
Romulo Neri, director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), noted that the latest population growth rate was nearing the government�s medium-term target of 1.94 percent.
Neri said slowing down population growth to 1.94 percent a year was necessary to enable the Philippine economy to feed and sustain its entire population.
Achieving the 1.94-percent target would boost the Philippines� chances of hitting its poverty-reductiongoal over the medium term, he said.
The government has set a target of reducing the proportion of population below the poverty line from 45.3 percent in 1991 to 22.7 percent by 2015.
The latest data from the NSCB showed that as of 2003, the proportion of the population living in poverty stood at 30.4 percent.
Reducing the number of people living in poverty to 22.7 percent of the population was a commitment that the Philippines made under the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.
Under these goals, UN member-countries pledged to stamp out extreme poverty by 2015.
But Ernesto Pernia, a professor of economics at the University of the Philippines, said a 1.95-percent annual population growth rate was unsustainable.
He pointed out that it was higher compared with other developing countries in Asia.
Pernia said the Philippines should be able to slow down its population growth rate to as low as 1.6 percent, similar to that of Bangladesh, to be able to meet its poverty-reduction goals.
He described the government�s effort to arrest the growing population as �practically nil,� and said there had not been enough programs to promote birth control.
In response, Neri said it had been a policy of the national government to entrust population control programs to the local government units.
He said determining appropriate measures to control population growth was up to the LGUs.
With the Philippines dominated by Catholic voters, the government has yet to make a tough stand against population growth and has left it up to couples to choose their preferred method of family planning.
The Philippines is the world�s 12th most populous state, according to an Agence France-Presse report.
It said the mid-2006 population was projected at 87 million, putting the country just behind Mexico and ahead of Vietnam.
Within 4 years
�In a span of four years, the country will be populated by over 94 million people. This translates to a yearly population growth of 1.95 percent from 2005 to 2010,� Estrella Domingo, officer in charge of the NSCB�s office of the secretary general, said in an announcement posted at the board�s website.
Domingo said the figure was based on the 2000 census-based national, regional and provincial population projections released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) last April 4.
A report from the NSO projected that the population would grow from 76.5 million, as of the latest population census in May 2000, to 141.7 million in 2040.
�This means that 65 million people would be added to the nation�s population between 2000 and 2040, which is a span of 40 years, even if the average annual growth rate is projected to drastically decline from 2.34 percent during the 1990-2000 period to around 1.0 percent during the 2030-2040 period,� the NSO said.
�The population is projected to grow by 1.95 percent in the 2005-2010 period, from 85.3 million in 2005 to 94.0 million in 2010,� it said.
The latest projection on population growth appeared to favor opponents of the Responsible Parenthood and Population Management Act, a consolidated House bill seeking to provide �free and full access to adequate and relevant information on reproductive health and a full range of family methods and devices.�
Critics, particularly the Catholic Church hierarchy, have denounced the effort, saying it was merely a sugar-coated piece of legislation that essentially targeted population control.
Others have alleged that some of the measure�s proponents stood to benefit from the expected arrival of a �condom� industry in the country should contraception be more aggressively promoted.
At present, contraceptives in the country are basically sourced from foreign donation, particularly from the United Nations Population Fund. Donations are expected to stop by 2008.
A major argument between proponents and critics of population control, as being presented by the government, involves statistics.
Proponents claim the population growth rate is 2.34 percent while critics maintain the figure is only 1.94 percent.
Curiously, both parties usually base their numbers on the NSCB, the country�s policymaking and coordinating body on statistical matters.
In another post titled �For the Record� at its website, the NSCB said the 2.34 percent growth rate was the �average annual population growth rate for 1990-2000 based on actual 1990 and 2000 population census results.�
�The latest population projections based on the 2000 census shows that the average annual growth rates for the periods 2000-2005 and 2005-2010 are projected to be 2.05 and 1.94 percent, respectively,� it said, adding:
�These values should be interpreted with caution as these are projections based on certain assumptions of fertility and mortality, and are projected annual average growths for the periods given.
�Thus, the estimated 1.94 percent growth is projected as the average annual growth during the period 2005 to 2010. If the growth rate trend is decreasing from the 2.05 percent during the 2000-2005 period, then the 1.94-percent growth rate is likely to be attained around 2007-2008.�
Women outliving men
In the latest announcement, the NSCB said Filipino women were expected to outlive men by 5.5 years. But the number of years was less by half than that five years earlier.
�Males (47.3 million) will still outnumber the females (46.7 million),� according to the NSCB.