Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Reproductive Health Bill

I was watching Reporters Notebook last night with the issue on population control, poverty and the now controversial RH Bill. Truth is millions of our country men suffer from poverty. Those who suffer most live in crowded shanties in urban areas.

Question: Are they poor because they are jobless and have too many children or they have too many children because they are poor and jobless? Whatever the answer is, too many heads or overpopulation is a primary factor of poverty. Unemployment has lesser to do with it. Assuming both parents have work and being paid minimum wage, can they feed 7 to 10 children and provide for needed education? Even 5 children will be very hard.

And in the news today, El Shaddai leader calls the RH Bill as evil and godless ideology.

“People’s choice must not be legislated. Even God gives man a free choice. But as far as child-bearing is concerned, God has already decreed that we must choose life instead of death. God has decreed that we must increase, not decrease, our numbers as a people.” -- Mike Velarde

With all respect to our church leaders, I think they are close minded and irrational on this issue. They point fingers to the government on the poverty issue and think that God doesn't want artificial contraceptive.

“Religious orthodoxy should not consign women to unrelenting pregnancies and condemn poor families to hunger and penury across generations.”-- Edcel Lagman

TRIVIA: Malaysia has populations of around 28 million. With almost the same land area, Philippines has around 90 million. The big difference? Malaysia is Muslim and we are proud Christian nation.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Domestic Helpers

I was searching the internet on any campaign to stop sending domestic helpers abroad --- just thinking of donating (seriously). I got very few hits and only this one article written from Kuwait.


It seems impossible for our politicians to make this an issue or any social organization to start this kind of campaign. Besides legal issues, I guess politicians are afraid of backlash from voters...

Manny Villar? Big NO. Those advertisements are self-serving. If he is real he should initiate a law that would ban or limit sending domestic helpers abroad. Not just coming to rescue. I know there are legal issues here and maybe it's not that simple.

Here is my point: I don’t believe our economy is benefiting from dollar inflows from DH abroad. The cost of sending DH abroad is much greater than the benefit of dollar remittances. There is so much to mention on the social cost involved --- broken families is no#1 and all sort of social problems follow. I have seen many of these cases. In 10 years this social issues converts to economic issues. Of course DH is just part of the term OFW and I would agree that OFW is big deal in our economy.

There are also success stories and I salute those mothers who made the brave decision and end up successful. But I only know or heard very few of them.

I can’t explain this further and I know many people won't agree. It just saddens me to see college graduates serving as domestic helpers in HK. We always question opportunity in this country and the easy answer is.... go abroad. But if we think smart, work hard and start some business wherever in this country… it’s easy to live a decent simple life (with your family).