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Population – a problem but also a blessing

Published

E CARTOON JUL 18, 2017

The Philippine population is growing by about 2 million a year and by the end of 2017, we will number 105.75 million, according to the Philippine Population Commission. The United Nations estimate as of July, 2017, is 103.83 million.

Sixty-two years ago, in 1955, the country’s population was only 22.17 million, but it was growing by 3.6 percent a year. By 1965, the population had reached 30.91 million; by 1975, 41.29 million; by 1985, 54.32 milion; by 1995, 69.83 million; by 2005, 86.14 million; and by 2015, 100.69 million.

In 2012, during the Aquino administration, Congress enacted the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RA 10354) but such was the opposition to certain provisions on contraceptives that were deemed anti-life, that a petition questioning its constitutionality was filed with the Supreme Court. The court issued a temporary restraining order in 2015, and partly lifted it only recently. Meanwhile, President Duterte last January issued Executive Order No. 12 calling for full implementation of the law and providing funds for a modern family planning program available to the poor by 2018.

The government stresses that RA 10354 is principally a reproductive health bill, aimed at helping poor mothers get adequate health care, but some officials place greater stress on keeping the Philippine population from unduly expanding and thus affecting national economic growth. Thus, when the country crossed the 100-million line in 2015, they saw it as a cause for grave concern.

And yet, in much of the rest of the world today, the concern is quite the opposite; it’s over falling populations. Statisticians place the population replacement rate as 2.1 births per women, but many countries have fallen well below this rate. In Europe, Germany’s rate fell to 1.47 births per woman in 2014; it rose to 1.5 in 2015, due in part to an influx of refugees from the Middle East, but it is expected to decline in the next 40 years. France had the highest birth rate in Europe in 2014 – 2.01 –compared to Europe’s average of 1.58, but suffered a significant decrease in 2016. In England and Wales, the birth rate was 1.83 in 2014, but decreased to 1.82 in 2015.

Closer to home, our neighbor to the north Taiwan had the world’s lowest fertility rate at 0.9 baby per woman in 2011 and has since offered all sorts of incentives to its young mothers. As for mainland China, it adopted a one-child policy in the 1970s but ended it in 2015 as the elderly population ballooned. Last year, births increased by 1.31 million but this is far short of China’s hopes for 3 million babies annually in the next five years.

Considering all these developments in other nations, we should welcome the report of the Philippine Population Commission that 2 million Filipinos are due to be added to the national population this year. The government’s economic development plans for the next five years of the Duterte administration should be able to provide jobs for these new additions to our population, especially in the rural areas where agriculture holds the greatest prospects for development in the country today.

Our increasing population may pose an economic problem to the government, but it is also a blessing for our country as it takes an increasingly important place in the world of nations.

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  • Ros Feliciano

    The increase in population MUST be equated to the quality of our people in terms of education and in terms of physical strength. Who can contradict with my opinion?

  • Paul Parenas

    2% population growth per year! A tiny country awash with people. The Du is right, encouraging EJKs, and killings of drug addicts and criminals. This is his way of controlling population explosion among Filipinos……

  • Dale Jose C. Gozar

    @ >$28billion annual remittance, Philippines main Export commodity are OFW – modern day hero or a form of slavery? Philippines rank 103 in the 2014 Global Slavery Index

    http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/download/

    In fact, real population control measure will never be implemented to maintain a continuous supply of cheap/quality labor and organ/stem cell donor to the world.

    Our money (Philippine Peso) is backed by the U.S. $ or other Foreign Currency from:

    a. Remitances our OFW bring
    b. Generated by our BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) or IPO (Industrial Process Outsourcing.

    Without these Foreign Currency – our Peso is basically worthless and trading will be difficult or impossible.

    I’m totally not against overseas employment, but the part I hate is we Export our Best People (OFW w/c are hard-working, productive, highly skilled & intellectual) to which result to “Brain Drain”. And forever relied on their dollar remittances to fuel our economy. Those left behind (lazy & AMPAW) who are tasked or voted to lead our nation and others are appointed to vital positions in the government.

    “It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and master, and intends to be the master” – Ayn Randolph

    http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/2094790/only-truly-great-indonesian-or-filipino-leader-can-bring

    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/500918/economy/moneyandbanking/infographic-where-26-92b-of-ofw-remittances-come-from

  • colowww

    Its mind boggling that some people haven’t woken up to the reality of overpopulation yet. They mostly seem to be religious leaders, and economists that never consider, impact on the environment, or quality of life. As if we can keep growing forever?

    What are the BIG problems associated with slowing population growth and an aging population? It will be harder to cover elderly retired people, fewer workers, consumers, and fewer young people to send off to war.

    What are the BIG problems associated with a population that continues to increase at a rapid pace? Greater political instability, a growing refugee population, and more wars. More children growing up hungry and uneducated. The ongoing mass extinction, and collapsing fisheries. Loss of wildlife and wild places as urban sprawl gobbles up the country side. Dwindling supplies of farm land, and fresh water. Climate change. The list goes on.

  • told youso55

    With a blessing comes a curse, take it all, or take nothing.