Sunday, March 27, 2011

RH-Bill in focus

Does the church have the right to voice out their opinion on RH Bill?
Yes, and it does not violate the separation of the Church and the State. It is still in the interest of the church to participate in these kinds of discussion since it is perceive as a duty to preserve their values, thus preventing any policies that might foil their long standing tradition/belief. And being an important key player, it is also their right and duty to give information to the public.

Now, are they relaying the right information?
Yes, because that information is based on their fundamental beliefs as a religious institution.

But in relaying those information are they fair?
First, we can’t expect things to be fair since we are fighting from opposite standpoint. Yes the Church may have propagandas. Yes the Church may claim that the bill is a work of evil. Yes the Church may use the power of its institution to bred hatred on the policy.

On a more critical point though:

1. Overpopulation: is it a myth?
- Some says that we are overpopulated that is why we need the bill passed. Then the opposite side says that the mere fact that we limit no. of children to be born (thus limiting mouths to feed) then we as if consider the unborn (or people in general) as liabilities which in fact be a great net asset.

My opinion: First Philippines is not overpopulated. It just so happen that our productivity (in terms of producing goods) is outpaced by the growth rate of our population. There is nothing wrong in a growing population since it can really be an asset. But to what extent can the state sustain such growth for it is consider as an asset? If it continuously grows (given limited resources) then we will probably be putting the general welfare in jeopardy.

But in a more important note: should we really look at this only in macro (effect in economy/country as a whole)? I think we should also look at the Micro as well (impact of it within the family). In my previous post I talked about that family size matters. In this case it matters because most of those with big families are living below poverty line. Is this compelling enough to push for the bill? I say yes basically on the side of educating families on Family Planning.

2. Who should teach couples about family planning?
-Some says the Church should teach them because its values are towards enriching family ties/strengthening family bond. Other says the state should be the one to teach them because priests know nothing about sex, etc.

My opinion: Both of them have the duty to educate couples. In the end what we seek to give to people are informed choices. It means that we give them the right to choose given all necessary information related to family planning are disclosed to the couples.

That is why the Church should educate them thru Pre-nuptial seminars about the toil and trouble of having a family. It is the responsibility of the Church to make them understand that the intention of sex is for procreation. At the same time, the State has the duty to fill in some missing puzzle pieces regarding family planning like the use of artificial contraception.

We empower the couple to choose. It is not that the State will lead the couples astray for using contraception. Let just say that this is a form of mitigating future harms that might happen brought about by too much passion between the couple.

3. Will this lead to Abortion, further Pre-marital sex, more single mothers, etc?

Some says that those countries who took a path which is similar to RH Bill actually experience more problems and further social decay like abortion, more pre-marital sex, more single mothers. These obviously thwart the claims of those in favor of the bill.

My opinion: May be it will lead to abortion. May be it will lead to more whores. The thing is, should we depend on situations that are yet to occur? Does the bill inhibits or create circumstances that will allow in the future Abortion? Not at all. It is even against abortion.

Pre-Marital sex is this a myth? In a more realistic look on society, we can’t deny that it happens. It will continue to happen because the moral fibers of society have been continuously distorted by western liberal ideas that we all freely accepted through modern media. It will continue to grow as long as we foster liberal ideas from the west even with or without the bill. That is why judging the bill on this ground is a little unfair. Since the bill is realistic enough to understand this fragile situation. It just so happen that the bill opted to go to the path of practicality.

I want to talk about other things but It can wait. 

This bill will still go a long way… A lot of Debate… A lot of Propaganda… This can be a defining moment for P-Noy’s administration.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Does family size matter?

The average family size in Philippines is 5. Minimum wage in NCR is 367.00-404.00 Php (as of June 2010). In a practical sense, how will a family of 5 be able to budget this to pay for FOOD, rent, clothing, EDUCATION, utilities, etc. If only 1 is working in the household, how is 8000 or so per month can cover this much cost?

Will you be able to feed your family with adequate nutritional benefits? Will you be able to send 3 kids into school and to at least reach Secondary Education? I think it will be very hard.

In a study made by Virola and Martinez shows that families with smaller members have higher Per Capita Income (family income) which translate to higher level of expenditures (family expenses) and higher savings (family savings). This kind of observation is consistent from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Moreover it was observed that those poorest of the poor families with utmost 6 members have higher per capita income compared to those with at least 7 members.

In reality, families living below poverty line tend to have higher members (bigger family size)…

Now what is wrong? Some say it is family size, some say it is only due to lack of economic opportunities, some say it is because of the corrupt government. They are all correct but we can’t cure it by excluding one from another and this problem is multi-faceted.

First thing I think that should be addressed is proper population management. Then spur economic growth. And hopefully it will create a trickledown effect on every pockets of society. I guess it is a matter of educating the public and it should not just be limited on giving free condoms (but is an important aspect).

In my personal opinion, can we really convince the society that we should live a righteous life and do not have sex to avoid unwanted pregnancy and ballooning of family size (abstinence)? I think it is a good way and may be effective. And this message has been relayed to the whole community (A COMMUNITY PREDOMINANTLY CATHOLIC- RELIGIOUS).

But my inquisitive mind still asked, despite the religiosity and pervasiveness of this teaching, why do we still have the problems of unwanted pregnancy and ballooning family size?

I am Pro-life and I will say that pro-life (for me) means living a righteous path but at the same time living in a decent condition.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A place like home...

A home is a place where we find refuge, we get to be ourselves and do things that we are restricted to do. It can ultimately be a source of identity and security. For me a Home is not a physical entity but a concept which we may attribute to something that makes us feel comfortable. At least this is what a home for me.

A home may be my family… May be my country… May be marriage…

But at times, what we perceive a home may also be a torture chamber hidden in the shadows of gender inequality and discrimination which is a paradox that is hard to fathom.

Men and Women play different roles, at times roles depend on the gender perception and stereotypes of a place. It may hard to admit but some societies are still fueled by machismo attitudes and patterns of patriarchal control. Some opt to institutionalize it or it may just be entrenched social practice that is considered as cultural and universal.

We see in a daily basis women being abused and battered. But it is only the tip of the ice berg. Sometimes when these things are considered normal and even customary it already borders the defiance of human dignity. When men play a role of manipulation and control, women are often left vulnerable.

Sometimes women are led to believe to be submissive even to the most abusive and atrocious way. These can be seen in different societies in various forms like foot binding, burning their selves alive, be whipped by older brothers, breast ironing, female circumcision, etc. And I think this is where we might find it hard to empower women, because they went through very long years of brainwashing and indoctrination making them see this as normal or a rite of passage…

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grayscale Environment

We all live in the comforts of the metropolis. We find our way in the shadows and between those high-rise structures. Day and night we march on like little pawns on a chorus of the bustling corporate life. Within the confines of those enormous structures we build our own little worlds.

And with the towering figure of these structures we sometimes find ourselves fidgeting and wondering where we are. Despite the length of time we spent we never really sought to understand our surrounding.

Yes, it is sometimes depressing after realizing that life became boring. We may have trivialized how the environment is actually affecting our behavior and feelings. On the flipside, it may significantly affect our perception on how we act on our lives.

Our sensorial outlets are very powerful on affecting the way we feel. If all you see are the enormous buildings, smell only the smog, hear only engines of cars- what do you think we will be? If I am to paint it in my imagination, its color is monochromatic gray, the texture is rough, the strokes and lines are sharp and crooked. We may not have really realized it but we are living in a harsh surrounding; a man-made hell wrapped with gratuitous decorations. The cruel thing is, it actually made us enjoy the scenery.

That is why, it is really nice to still even see parks where trees and flowers really grows at the middle of this chaos. To seriously think about it, this small parcel of land is actually an insignificant consolation of the trade-off we have made. A small place of refuge for the systematic alteration of the environment we are in.