Are we serious about taking people out of poverty? This, I think, is the burning question of the day. Any government worth its salt MUST ask this question and then find and provide REAL solutions to this monster of a problem.
This problem that claims lives first cut these lives down to size so they’re hardly what anyone can call a life.
A life where you are hungry day in, day out and where you see your children emaciated, begging for food you cannot give them and where education is that wisp of a dream meant for others, not you, not your children. Where you are reed thin, racked with communicable diseases and where your body is covered in boils and where your children are in the same dire situation. Where you sleep under the bridge, past zooming cars and where you eat food from some fast food’s garbage dump because you can wash it and cook it again, right?
The cruel joke called ‘life’ for the deeply impoverished is nothing more than a nightmare that never ends. And then they die.
So I ask: are we really serious about taking MILLIONS out of the horrific nightmare of poverty they find themselves in and for which they will need OUR help, all of us?
Here’s one thing though that if we execute well enough has the potential to take MILLIONS of Filipinos out of poverty.
It’s not rocket science really. And really, all it is is simple math and common sense. More mouths to feed for a poor family, more hunger. Less mouths, less resources spread thin, more resources per member of the family.
No matter whatever hoops the Catholic Church want us to jump through . It’s all in the math. Science stands firmly on the side of those who know family planning takes people out of poverty.
For instance, in 1974, Thailand got serious with their anti-poverty program and the way they did this was by getting real serious with their family planning program, FIRST OF ALL.
And because they weren’t burdened by an arrogant Church that oversteps its boundaries time and again, they were able to get everyone on board. Even Buddhist monks who would bless the condoms and pills –to sanctify life, imagine that. Even taxi drivers would give away condoms to everyone. Even school kids weren’t burdened with ‘SEX IS SIN!! SEX IS EVIL!! AARRGGHH! RUN FOR THE HILLS!!’.
And they played games with condoms as part of their sex education. And in time, condoms became known as a girl’s best friend in Thailand. And when the AIDS epidemic hit them, they got even more serious about condoms as a way getting a handle on this problem.
As a result of all that, from 1974 where the average number of children per family was 7, it went down to 1.5 kids by 2000. And from shocking 3-3% population growth in 1974 to 0.5% by 2000.
And the AIDS epidemic that threatened to overtake them in the early 90s? According to studies by the UN, it declined by ninety percent. I have to spell that one out, in case you think that was a typo.
The World Bank estimates that 7.7 million lives were saved as a result of this get-serious condom drive by both the government, the private sector and the Thai people—everyone on board.
And do you know where our country is right now because of the over-zealous Catholic Church’s obstruction of the full implementation of the RH Law?
That looming AIDS epidemic has come to pass in our country. It is now our reality.
And teenage pregnancy? Besides being the ONLY country in our region that experienced an increase in teenage pregnancy rates over the last two decades, we’re the country with the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Asia.
And we pay through our teeth with the unbearable social cost of children being raised by children, the exploding youth unemployment rate, the exploding poverty rates.
And this AIDS epidemic that is upon us will claim millions of lives in the coming years.
And one major solution is right before us: condoms.
And yet Leni Robredo says, ““I think it’s dangerous in the sense that it might promote the culture of promiscuity.”
Is this girl stupid or what?
I didn’t need to read a lot of books to know what I know about condoms and the pivotal role they play in family planning and consequently, on us getting a handle on poverty.
My being a doctor has nothing to do with this knowledge. All I had to do was get serious about educating myself. And some of the most knowledgeable people I know about reproductive health are ordinary citizens who took it upon themselves to dispel the dark shadow of ignorance.
And yet here we are with a Vice President no less who spouts amazingly stupid stuff. It’s unbelievable really. She thinks giving condoms to young people promotes promiscuity! Whew.
I wish that were a punchline to a really un-funny joke but it isn’t. And I would laugh if the consequences weren’t so dire: lives ruined by teenage pregnancies and by HIV infection.
And by this nightmare, poverty, we are so unable to get out of.
Oh Leni, girl, that’s like saying taking an umbrella with you encourages rain. Or wearing a seatbelt encourages vehicular accidents. Or buying make up encourages kalandian.
The 2nd most powerful person in this country is a buffoon who has not bothered to educate herself. And she brings the full weight of the Office of the Vice Presidency to promote her dangerous brand of ignorance.
Or, she could be pandering to that one institution that’s promoted poverty like no other—the Roman Catholic Church.
In any case, Leni Robredo deserves a full whack with a rolled up newspaper on her forehead for this fear and grievous ignorance she promotes that’s highly unfounded
Had she read up a bit, she’d have known that there is no scientific basis to this and that various studies around the world, (LA, Seattle, Massachusetts, Boston, nine other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America)have found that condom access and distribution programs did NOT promote sex nor does it increase frequency of sex or number of partners in teens who were already sexually active.
The results have been the same for students in late elementary and high school.
In fact, Madam VP, condom access programs have been found to DELAY sexual debut among teens and also help decrease sexual activity among the sexually active.
The danger Leni Robredo visits on our country, when she, once again, obstructs serious moves to take millions out of poverty by way of this one proven thing that DOES take millions out of poverty (condoms, sex education, RH) is REAL and alarming.
Will someone please give this girl a book?