For several days now, I could not get off my head a quote mentioned by my friend, “We are not poor because we are plenty; rather we are plenty because we are poor.” It seems to be a perfect summary of my stand against the RH Bill. I strongly believe that the main reason why the poor are plenty is because they lack opportunities and access to education. Truth be told, because they have no opportunities to keep themselves busy they resort to procreating. Their increasing number is just a result of their decreasing opportunities. It is not the cause of poverty; rather it is the effect of poverty. And our government should address the root cause.
Going back to the quote, since I could not get it off my head I had to google it. And I found the article where it came from. It was an article titled MM Overcrowded but PH Not Overpopulated written by Willy Arcilla. I would like to share with you some of the important points he raised:
- Our poor menfolk, whom nature designed to be providers for their families, lose their sense of dignity and turn “predatory” when they are jobless or woefully underpaid.
- The true and real solution is to promote morality, specifically the virtues of charity and chastity, the values of caring and sharing to overcome greed, and the values of purity and modesty to overcome lust.
- Metro Manila is overcrowded, but the Philippines is not overpopulated. This is only because we have failed dismally to develop our agricultural sector and provinces, which could have sustained rural families instead of driving them to become illegal settlers in Metro Manila.
- They are not poor because they are plenty; rather they are plenty because they are poor. Make our poor rich and they will have less time and energy for irresponsible parenthood.
- No to Reproductive Health. Yes to Reproductive Wealth, where wealth begets more wealth because the rich help the poor and the poor help themselves through various forms of profit-sharing—not forcible land reform or mandatory wages.
- Enough of self-centered leadership. We demand God-centered leadership because we deserve God-centered leadership. Nothing more. Nothing less. P-Noy says “Kayo ang boss ko,” but let us remind him, “ngunit ang Diyos ang boss nating lahat!”
Lack of opportunities, immorality, and self-centered leadership: these are the real problems to be addressed. We don’t need a band-aid solution. What we need are antiseptic solutions to disinfect the wound. The RH Bill is clearly a band-aid solution. It does not disinfect the wound it just covers it up and might later on cause more infection. The antiseptic solutions would be to provide job opportunities for the poor, allow them to have access to education, promote good moral values, and practice God-centered leadership. These are the real solutions. Not only the wounds will be healed but more importantly, our souls will also be healed.
Read Willy Arcilla’s article here: http://opinion.inquirer.net/34685/mm-overcrowded-but-ph-not-overpopulated