DURING his last State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte received a very rare nod of approval from opposition lawmakers for his stance on the reproductive health law.

The thumbs-up sign was given by the members of the so-called Magnificent 7 bloc in the House of Representatives, after he asked SC Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to reconsider the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the RH law.

To recall, his predecessor former President Benigno ‘Noynoy” Aquino III  signed into law Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act in December 2012.

The controversial law has been on the freezer for five years now after pro-life groups especially followers of the Roman Catholic Church questioned its constitutionality before the high court. 

President Duterte is a known advocate of responsible parenthood and reproductive health since he is aware that it is vital in his administration’s quest to reduce poverty and promote economic growth. 

Therefore, the President’s call for the full implementation of RH law could not have come at a more appropriate time.

The country’s continued population growth which as of January this year is already at very high 103.4 million is one of the biggest reasons why we could not seem to take off economically.

Aside from its inherent problem in the economic front, overpopulation also brings with it a host of other problems like daily monstrous traffic jams, inadequate supply of food, lack of sufficient space, unemployment and other basic necessities.

We are currently ranked as 13th most populated country in the world, which also explains why the government still fails to attain the very elusive inclusive growth.

There is an extreme need to arrest the population growth and this can be done through sound management which can be achieved through the implementation of RH law.

This paper therefore is supporting the call of President Duterte for SC to lift the TRO on RH law so that the parents especially the poor will be given the freedom of informed choice on the number and spacing of their children.

As one article once said, “population growth entails capital widening to maintain the amount of capital per worker, and the faster such growth the lesser the chances for capital deepening or raising the level and quality of capital per worker”. 

Many Asian developing countries have taken these lessons to heart, with positive results, and have since moved forward – but, unfortunately, not the Philippines.


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Sunday, 25 February 2018
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