Overpopulation and its woes

Overpopulation and its woes

- in Opinion

Philippines is one of the most populous countries in the world. Based on the latest United Nations estimate, as of December 15, 2016, the current population of the Philippines is 102,946, 685. That ranks us 12th in the list of countries by population. And we are not showing any signs of slowing down.

The United Nation estimates that by 2020 the Philippine’s population would have ballooned to 108,435,788. That is an alarming number considering our country’s small land area of 298,192 square kilometers.

Currently, the population density in the Philippines is 343 per square kilometers, with 44.9 percent or 45,842,660 of that are living in urban area.

Along with the country’s high population comes troves of social woes. Family disfunction, drug addiction, unemployment, homelessness, high crime rate, and traffic issues has overpopulation as its roots.

The Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic country, has ignored the problem of overpopulation because of the Church’s stand against contraceptives. However, the problem can’t be ignored anymore because it has spawned more problems. It is time we implement the solutions.

On December 21, 2016 Republic Act No. 10354 or the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 was signed into law. This law guarantees Filipinos universal access to methods on contraception, fertility control, sexual education, and maternal care.

When President Rodrigo Duterte took office, one of his priority programs is the implementation of the RH Law. Although the current administration wants to fully implement the law, its hands are tied because of the temporary restraining order slapped by the Supreme Court (SC) on some of the law’s provisions.

The SC prevents the Department of Health (DOH) from “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive Implanon and Implanon NXT,” a form contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy for three years.

The high court’s TRO could not have come at a more wrong timing. Now is not the time for politicking because the clock is ticking. If we do not do anything to slow down our population’s growth, we will have more problems to face.

SC should lift the TRO and it should do so in the soonest possible time.

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