Following reports that the world population is going to hit the 7 billion mark come October this year, and that the Philippines is ranked 12 among the populous countries in the world, an ardent author and reproductive health champion says, “more than ever, a comprehensive national policy on population management, has become crucial.”
Cong. Janette L. Garin, 1st District Iloilo Representative, laments that the lack of access of the poor to family planning and reproductive health education and services worsens the poverty situation in the country. “The Philippine population is estimated to be more than a hundred million this year and yet the government is not ready to provide the corresponding social services needed by the rapidly growing population,” Cong. Garin said.
According to her, while richer countries are now concerned about low fertility and ageing, poor nations, such as the Philippines, are struggling to meet the needs of rapidly growing population.
“Population should not be a problem if resources are available to cope with the additional people requiring public services, employment, housing, education, etc. But in a country like ours, where the budget is already stretched and where poverty is high to begin with, population growth becomes a major issue,” stressed Rep. Garin.
Garin emphasized, “more than ever, a comprehensive national policy that will ensure population policy and programs is needed.” She added, “as we resume Congress session this July, I urge my fellow lawmakers, who are still opposed to the reproductive health bill, to reconsider their stand and support the passage of the said measure. I also urge those who are still held hostage by their Bishops to take a stand now.”
Garin reminds her fellow lawmakers that their job is to pass legislations while the clergy are supposed to be concerned with the moral values of the citizenry.
“Various studies have shown that rapid population growth exacerbates poverty and that poverty incidence increases as the family size increase, it is really important that we give the poor access to reproductive health and family planning services. We should pass the RH bill now!” she ended