Reconfiguring the population pyramid

Reconfiguring the population pyramid

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Reproductive Health

Peter Wallace, in his Dec. 1 column (“It’s not an SC decision,” Opinion), wrote strongly against restraint on the part of the Supreme Court regarding the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law in consideration of Article II, Section 12 of our Constitution, protecting the life of the unborn.

I have been to informal settler areas in my parish to help young mothers with natural family planning, and a big number of them refuse to join our sessions because they have been ligated. Ligation, oral contraceptives and installation of IUD are freely given by barangay health centers and government hospitals, and this started even before the passage of the RH Law.

The average Filipino woman of reproductive age had six children in 1975; she has only three today without the RH Law because of changing lifestyles. The country’s birthrate is dropping.

Other Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, not to mention those in the West, have falling birth rates way below the replacement rate of 2.1.

We read almost daily about the reality of “Population Collapse = Economic Collapse.”

We boast of our highest growth in GDP, attributing this in large part to the number of Filipinos working abroad and in call centers.

On the other hand, Wallace wants to rush to reconfigure our population pyramid to attain the golden age—when the bottom (representing the number of babies) decreases, and the top (representing old people) expands, while the middle (representing the economically productive population) gets bloated. But it does not stop there.

The experience of Scandinavia, which started artificial contraception, is clear. The population pyramid exactly inverted 60 years after the legalization of artificial contraception. The average age there today is 57 against our country’s early 20s.

Is Wallace advocating true wisdom in population management?

LELLA M. DE JESUS, Diocese of Parañaque