Malolos City, Philippines (June 12 2011) – The Diocese of Malolos headed by Bishop Jose Francisco Oliveros held a “Bulacan Rally for Life” meant to show legislators that Bulacan province is against the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.
Echoing the standard stance of the Catholic Church elsewhere in the world on matters pertaining to population management, protesters asked lawmakers to stop wasting time on deliberating RH Bill and to focus instead on economic development.
Vatican has always maintained that the problem of overpopulation does not exist and that poverty and hunger should be solved by producing more.
In his address to the crowd Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez said “Congressman Lagman is wrong. It’s not the RH bill that can make the country prosperous; it should be junked.”
The Catholic Church and pro-life groups have consistently opposed Albay Congressman Edcel Lagman, the main author of the RH bill in the lower house.
To bolster his claim that huge population does not necessarily result in poverty, Golez claimed that Parañaque has huge population but the people are not poor.
“There is also a study that debunks Lagman’s claim that when the population is huge, there are more poor people. But why is it that in Parañaque, we have a huge population, but the people are not impoverished?” said Golez.
Golez cited the latest report of the National Statistics Office (NSO) that the country’s population growth rate has dropped 1.9 percent. Data from the NSO also showed that based on the 2007 census of population, the country’s population growth rate is 2.04 percent.
Golez said that in different regions, population growth rates are below two percent, but it is slightly higher in Metro Manila and in nearby regions like Central Luzon and Calabarzon because of migration.
He noted that people from impoverished regions move to areas near the capital to find work.
He cited the experiences of Asian countries like Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea.
Golez said the population density of these countries ranges from 600 to 1,400 persons per square kilometer, and yet these economies are more stable than the Philippines.
“We don’t need the RH bill. What we need is right leadership and the right economic strategy,” he said.
He also said that it is unlikely that the poor are pulling down the economy because most of the 8.7 million overseas Filipino workers remitting at least $21 billion every year come from the poor. Sen. Pia Cayetano, the leading proponent of the Senate version of RH Bill was also a target of criticism because of her proposal to include sex education in school curriculum.
Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza said “If Sen. Pia Cayetano wants her children to have sex education, she should do it at home.” (From philstar.com)