Notable reactions: The fallacy of population control
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-08-16
Proposals to curb birth rates as a solution to easing poverty have always triggered impassioned debates. I would like to share two of the reactions to my “Who has the right to life?” column where I had debunked the fallacy of population control as a means of solving poverty. One reactor is a political player and the other is a Jesuit priest.

My friend Roland Redoble, who is now based in Cebu but has lived in Mindanao, wrote this reaction.

“In the towns of my youth in Ipil, Zamboanga Sebuguey and Moalboal, Cebu, everybody is poor. But nobody gets hungry or dies of famine. Let the economists explain that. On the contrary, there was and still is an upward mobile trend in the life of the same people I know in the last 40 years.

The Malthusian theory of unlimited want and limited supply of resources as the governing dictum of societal life has long been proven wrong. It is only true in the sense that it pushes the human spirit to be more creative and be more innovative. But it was and is wrong if taken as a warning to any society that it will collapse if its population growth is left unchecked.

Decongestion of population centers through creative government intervention is the best solution to excessive centers of poverty.

Imagine this: to the East of Metro Manila, in between Antipolo and the Pacific Seaboard, are endless hectares of government property. This straddles along the most scenic slopes anyone can see in Luzon. The only thing lacking is a mass transit system from there that goes direct to Quezon City, Ortigas, and Makati.

From the Pacific seaboard it will only take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes of travel time. If such a mass transit system can accommodate 2,000,000 a day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. — then that means government can move 1,000,000 families away from Metro Manila.

Do the same in the Western seaboard of Metro Manila up to the banks of Hermosa, Bataan passing along the Bulacan marshes and the same decongestion can be accomplished.

In the Eastern seaboard of Metro Manila, the land will cost nothing at all since it is owned by the government. These are the blue mountains one will see beyond the hills of Antipolo.

Doing it will be very good for the economy.

By the way, this area is still forested by secondary growth trees so water is not a problem at all.

India and China are powerful because of their population. Indonesia is the most influential in ASEAN because of its population.

On the opposite end is Europe. It is declining, especially France, because of its more than a decade negative population growth. Migration is saving it but with such a very strong cultural upheaval.

Closer to home, Singapore wanted to imitate the First World countries by imposing zero population growth more than a decade ago. It had to reverse the policy when they realized it will destroy them eventually.

So, being born is really a gift to society more than such life being the gift to the person being born. It is the maximum demand of justice for such Society to make sure that the person born will live a fruitful nurturing life...ALL FOR SOCIETY’S SAKE!”

I shared Roland Redoble’s reactions with Fr. Vicente Marasigan, SJ (or Fr. V as we fondly call him). Fr. V and I regularly exchange views via email.

Fr. V is particularly enthused with my espousal of the vision and activities of Gawad Kalinga and the Focolare Movement’s Economy of Communion which offers to bridge our wealth gap problem. He frowns at my severe and unforgiving criticisms of the abuses of people vested with the highest power and authority in the land.

I must admit that I have yet to internalize the Christian way of loving our enemies and turning them the other cheek when they violate us. I fear that our enemies from within will rob us blind if we blink and forgive. Shouldn’t justice first prevail before forgiveness?

Fr. V condemns factors in media who promote the anti-Life position and takes many of them to task for accepting incentives from foreign financiers in exchange for promoting population control.

“Four cheers for the Chair Wrecker! Who has the right to live? Certainly not those columnists and spin-weavers in media who are salivating for the funds of the UNFPA and other UN infiltrators and noisily proclaiming their concern for promoting reproductive health. They are forfeiting their right to eternal life.” Fr. V wrote.

“I put the blame on media spin for hardening public opinion towards seeing reproduction as a disease. It is NOT a disease. It is a gift of God. Like all God’s gifts, reproduction can be used RESPONSIBLY,” he added.

It’s very comforting to know that there are Filipinos who can think straight and arrive at real solutions that assure an eradication of the causes of problems, rather than their victims.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo