Four of the young Philippines legislators at a rally.
Nine young members of the Philippines Legislature have formed a new offensive against the highly controversial Reproductive Health Bill that is still being debated in the national Congress.
Last week they published an open letter in the Manila Times saying that the 3 billion pesos that would be spent annually on birth control if the bill is finally passed should be spent on programmes that drive progress for Filipinos, such as education, jobs development, transport and health care.
They have attracted the support of a new coalition of young Filipinos — Youth United for the Philippines, or YUP!, who have launched a Facebook campaign to garner more support. Their tag line: YUP! FOR EDUCATION, JOB, AND HEALTHCARE FOR ALL! NOPE TO RH BILL!
The Bill in its latest incarnation is called The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2011. It represents the ideology of the international population control establishment, which has convinced a lot of politicians that the controlling country’s birth rate is the answer to poverty — or at least the way to win friends and influence money-lenders abroad.
But the young legislators reject the idea that population is the cause of poverty. They point out that large cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, which have some of the highest population densities in the world, are “living and breathing proof that large populations, when empowered by opportunity and reliable governance, are assets to economic growth. What we need to do is enforce sound economic policies, fight corruption effectively, and invest in helping people pull themselves out of poverty.”
They point out that Php 3bn would:
* build 4644 new classrooms
* subsidise the education of 300,000 scholars
* sponsor work skills training for 214,285 Filipinos
* build 300 kms of farm to market raods
* complete critical regional roads enabling agribusiness* provide micro-loans to nearly 400,000 entrepreneurs and small enterprises (See this video for a great example!)
* provide healthcare insurance to 2.5 million poor families
* build 3000 lying-in delivery stations, which would drastically reduce maternal mortality
In other words, these young adults see that each Filipino is not just a mouth to feed but “a mind to be educated and hands that can be trained to work … one more pair of arms to lift up our nation.”
There’s an interesting post on our demography blog that shows, quoting The Economist, the Philippines will be one of only four Asian countries enjoying a demographic dividend in the decade starting 2021.
Oh, and by the way, the Philippines birth rate fell from an average of 6 births per woman in 1970 to 3.3 in 2006 — without the government pouring billions into contraception. And, said the Population Reference Bureau last year: “Women at all economic levels are using family planning, even at the lowest wealth quintile, where almost 41 percent of married woman are using any method of family planning.”6
Don’t forget to visit the YUP! Facebook page at facebook.com/weareyup