( I would like to share with you a letter I sent, in response to someone’s letter, which got published in the local paper, Sun.Star Cebu, on June 27, 2011, which was titled “Overpopulation is real.”)
Allow me to talk back about Ms. Lorina T. Lepon’s letter, titled “Truth and the RH bill. (Sun.Star, Cebu, June 24, 20011.)
I appreciate her strong anti-RH bill stand, although I found the letter more as a passionate defense of her Catholic faith.
The RH bill is not an issue about one’s religious affiliation, neither is it a matter of the Holy Spirit revealing what is truth and where to side to.
It is an issue that gives importance to both the health of a woman who decides to get pregnant and that of the child she wants to bring forth to this world.
It is a health education and responsible parenthood tool, and contains information on and access to both natural and modern family planning methods, which are medically safe and legally permissible.
It is about telling couples, especially the poor and the unlearned, that there are choices, options, and alternatives to follow in raising a family without being burdened about having enough food on the table, adequate shelter for the family, etc.
The RH bill is about ensuring that kids with tattered clothes won’t be roaming in the streets begging and sleeping on sidewalks in the cold night. It is avoiding misery and unnecessary death.
Why would one fight the passage of the RH bill based on religious consideration and not about its beneficial effects to the greater number of poor Filipinos?
Ms. Lepon says that overpopulation in this country is nothing but a myth. Well, so has the man-made global warming been declared a myth, but, isn’t the world getting warmer and the seas rising?
Are we not seeing poverty, hunger and early death, brought about by overpopulation amongst the poor in our society?
It used to be that global food production was always outpacing world population food demand. That is no longer the case now.
While climate change is adversely affecting agriculture and its supply, the affluent countries and the more populous and developing nations like China, India and Brazil are converting their agricultural lands to industrial plants and commercial establishments and are buying more grains and other basic commodities to ensure ample supply for their citizens, even as they grow their own.
This is causing and will continue to cause food stress, more especially in poor countries like the Philippines.
Overpopulation is no longer a myth in our country; it has become a dreadful reality. A sensible solution is needed to urgently confront it.
Supporting the RH bill is the only reasonable way for a long-term solution to the overpopulation problem.
Discrediting the importance and the dire consequences of a burgeoning population in a third world country is tantamount to suppressing the dreams and aspirations of each and every deprived Filipino family for a quality life.